Turtle Crossing

My sister and I were on a cross-Canada trip and enjoying the southern Ontario landscape. It was 1999 and I was in my early 20’s. It was the height of summer and our 1986 Toyota Tercel didn’t have air conditioning. We were probably grooving to Tom Petty, windows rolled down. I was driving.

I’m sure the turtle on the road didn’t see us coming.

We barreled over the creature at 100 km/hr (okay, it was probably about 120 or 130). My animal-loving sister was devastated. She made me stop the car, pull a U-turn on the deserted highway and retrace our path. She insisted on finding the turtle to ‘see if it was okay.’

I told this story to the Bear this week. Slowing down has been on my mind.

Maybe its just semantics, but as of today I’ve decided to focus more on the idea of ‘slow parenting’ than ‘free-range parenting’.

I originally chose the term ‘free-range parenting’ because I felt that the two other competing labels – ‘idle parenting’ and ‘slow parenting’ – implied easy. But after five months, I feel that a more accurate definition of our journey is slow parenting. (And I should add that this is NOT easy!) Similar to free-range parenting, slow parenting is about letting your children be free to be children with minimal parental interference. But there is another element to slow parenting that isn’t reflected in the free-range philosophies. And that is the idea of slow living – living at a pace so that you can appreciate your family, community, and environment in a mindful way without getting swept into trends and competition.

Slow parenting is also a better fit with our second family goal – to live more simply. We are trying to be less consumptive, embrace slow food, and be environmentally minded.

I’ve updated the blog’s header and the about section – I’ve redefined this mission as a slow parenting one. I’ve also added another page to the blog. This is my inspiration page – books that are influencing our journey. If you want to tag along on this adventure, perhaps you would like to check out these resources.

Are you wondering if we found the ill-fated turtle? To my surprise, we actually did find the animal. I’ll spare you the visual. It was not alive. My sister was furious with me. I was to slow down and concentrate on the road. Humpf.

I’m still fighting the urge to speed up, to get things done faster. I have to continually remind myself that there is so much value in slowing down. A slow life tends to be a happier life. Oh, and more turtles will be able to cross the road safely.

10 Responses to “Turtle Crossing”

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  4. 4 roma June 15, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    Wow – I never heard that story – was that before or after I joined you for part of your cross country trip? I don’t remember you going too fast so must have been before 😉 By the way, I would definitely be with your sis on this one. Poor little turtle! Love the post – very timely reminder for me to slow down too!

  5. 6 Sarah June 15, 2010 at 9:11 am

    Is this the same road trip that you hit the quail too?

    Kudos to you guys for living slowly. It’s very easy to get caught up in a quick paced lifestyle, so way to take the road less traveled.

    • 7 Mama Tortoise June 15, 2010 at 2:41 pm

      Yes, yes, quail were unfortunately killed too. I do think that I have become a better driver since then! And geez, I didn’t know quail couldn’t fly!

      Yup, here’s to slow. We might not be the best example but we’re trying.

  6. 8 patientpenguin June 15, 2010 at 8:39 am

    Really glad that that incident was able to inspire a blog post… 🙂
    ~Your sis

  1. 1 lifestyle Trackback on June 26, 2017 at 2:50 am

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Inspiration for free-range parenting or simple living

2011 Canadian Weblog Awards

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