Why I wave madly when you leave

A hug! and a kiss! and DON’T FORGET TO WAVE AT ME MAMA!!!!

My kids run the length of the yard to the “waving tree” and wave goodbye. They wave with the same sort of fervent enthusiasm whether one of us is leaving for five minutes or five days.

I've been frustrated before by my kids' insistence on their goodbye ritual, but when I followed their lead and embraced the kisses and hugs and waving, waving, waving; I realized that these small people are being wise in the way that children so often are, and teaching me that being present for the people I love may be simpler than I realize.

What it means when we wave goodbye

They wave at their dad as he leaves for work, or if one of us heads to the grocery store. When we drive off from a friend's, they wave until they can’t see the house any more.

They've shed bitter tears over missing a chance to say goodbye and I’ve come to appreciate what this devotion to the goodbye ritual means.

They’re children and they live in the present, and I think instinctively they know the significance of being parted from the people you love.

I'll always pause for goodbye

My husband and I both have been through the moments when we just need to leave! and we've withstood the goodbyes with a rushed “Ok, ok, I have to GO now!” but over time, thankfully, instead of training our children to be numb to goodbye, the kids have been training us to make room for this parting ritual.

All our life events push us forward, never giving permission to slow down and acknowledge the passing of something good. That permission is something we have to give ourselves. Goodbye is a way of taking that time to slow down and notice. It's the end of beginnings and the transition between together and apart and it helps us notice the connections we have.

Right now my kids are young and we’re often together, but that won’t always be the case, and like most of you, I want to try my best to enjoy them being young, which can be very challenging on the days when all I want is silence and time by myself.

Goodbyes honor that being together is a special and limited thing and they help me remember that I’m grateful for that time.

I want the people I love most to be the center of my life. I want my actions to support that priority.

So I slow down.

I kiss my kids goodnight, and hug goodbye, and wave like a fool, swishing my arm back and forth until you're out of view, because to me it is an action that says ‘These are my loves; they are my top priority and I make time for them.’

When my kids run waving down the length of our front yard it’s not something to be missed. It’s a moment of recognizing how good we have it.


Hello Darlings, I wrote this in honor of a book my friend Shawn Fink has released called The Abundant Mama's Guide to Savoring Slow: Simplify, Embrace the Chaos and Discover an Abundance of Time at Home (Amazon affiliate link)

I hope you'll take a look at her book and see if it inspires you to slow down in the ways that most enrich your life.
Savoring Slow Summer ReadingYou can find more posts on ways parents are brings presence and awareness to their day to day on her Savoring Slow Book tour here: