Bernstein Bears coloring books, Barbie coloring books, Disney Princess coloring books; at six years old, it did not matter as long as I could work on them with my mommy. I believe in coloring books. Between taking my older brother and sister to basketball practice, grading papers, and fulfilling other responsibilities, my mom would take time out of her day to sit and color with her youngest child. We would sit at the coffee table in the family room in silence working on adjacent pages. I loved this time not only because I was able to spend it with my mom, but I also always envied her final product. Once, after admiring a picture of Mickey Mouse she had just completed, I asked her how she made her pictures so neat. She then explained to me the importance of taking my time, taking pride in everything that I complete, and enjoying little moments like coloring—not rushing through them. She demonstrated her coloring process by outlining the next picture in the colors she planned on using then shading each section in. When I followed her advice, it took me longer to complete my picture but it ended up almost as beautiful as hers.
Soon after, I outgrew coloring, but I never forgot what my mother told me about remembering to take my time. I have learned to apply it to more than coloring. Using this advice, I often stop myself from rushing. I began applying my mother’s advice to school assignments and later broadened the idea of slowing down to my personal life. For example, when I found myself rushing away from a family meal to go out with friends, I would slow myself down and always ended up more satisfied. I now know that it is important to soak up every moment, not hurry through them. My brother, sister, and I are now adults living in separate cities, so family time is rare. I appreciate the moments we spent together in the past, even though they were not much at the time. When I have a family of my own I intend on taking time out of my day for simple activities with my children that they enjoy. Whether it is coloring, playing with LEGOS, tossing a football around in the yard, or doing a puzzle, I will use bonding time to teach my family life lessons in a way they will understand.