Upon arriving home after a busy day out-and-about I did a quick evaluation and decided there were two possible tracks we could take this evening: 1) the fast-and-furious sprint to bed, which would involve a quick call for pizza delivery, then putting the kids to bed at the earliest bedtime possible so I could enjoy some alone time or 2) the slow track which would involve cutting up the veggies I picked up from the farm today and simmering them into a homemade soup followed by many bedtime stories and a whenever-we-get-to-it bedtime.
Both of these tracks are well and good with pros and cons to each. There's a time and place for each of them, neither one being truly "right" or "wrong."
Tonight I chose #2, the slow track. Tonight I knew rushing through a nighttime sprint would only lead to frustration and stress. So instead I simmered soup. The kids changed into pajamas well past their usual bedtime. We read a whole stack of books and laughed at silly jokes. We all rested with eyes open and enjoyed the company of one another.
I do my fair share of choosing #1. It's a good track, too. But tonight I am glad we welcomed rest and peace and a cozy night with a slower rhythm.