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Slowing Down To Enjoy The Moment

The heavy morning-commute traffic on Kalanianaole Highway TANNYA JOAQUIN PHOTO

The heavy morning-commute traffic on Kalanianaole Highway

As we prepare to sit down for a Thanksgiving feast, it’s a chance to savor quality time with loved ones — the simple pleasures.

But, sometimes, we can get caught up in our own worlds.

To be honest, whenever this holiday comes around, it triggers my mental clock that Christmas is coming.

Sound the alarm. T minus 28 days to take and make our family card, get a tree, decorate it, buy gifts, ship them off to the Mainland in time and, oh yeah, figure out what to do with the children over winter break.

But before it sounds like the Grinch stole my Christmas, where was I? Oh right, I was starting to express my thanks about Thanksgiving.

Seriously, sometimes you need a little reality check to shake off seasonal (or for that matter, everyday) stress.

I had one of those “aha” moments recently when I was driving my children to school.

Amazingly, we got out the door before that mental clock I just mentioned went off. I tend to get more anxious as my cut-off time to leave the house approaches.

In a minor miracle, we loaded up in record time and hit the road, with a few minutes to spare.

Thank goodness, I thought to myself. But my victory lap came to a screeching halt as soon as we turned onto Kalanianaole Highway.

Gridlock. We’re talking parking lot. Think the drive home after a football game at Aloha Stadium.

Noooo! How could this be? There was no rhyme or reason to why traffic was so bad that morning. I felt like banging my head on the steering wheel.

But then a sweet voice drowned out my inner cursing. It was my son Kaimana from the backseat, offering his “play by play.”

“Uh oh, bad traffic,” he said. You’re telling me, I said under my breath.

What he said next will stick with me forever: “Mommy, the bad thing is there’s traffic and it takes longer to get to school. The good thing is … I get more time with you.”

Wow. Talk about a game changer.

Too often, I find myself rushing the kids. It starts in the morning with the scramble to get to school on time. Our day ends in a similar fashion, racing the clock to get them fed, bathed and to bed at a decent hour.

There are 1,440 minutes in every day. This Thanksgiving,

I’m extra thankful for the wake-up call from my 6-year-old son.

Every moment together can be precious. Even if it is stuck in traffic.