The possibility of becoming wrapped up in the To Do Lists of life is a topic I often write about. This article happens to revisit that subject again. Surprise, surprise. But just like everyone else I need a reminder. Habits are hard to break. And that damn To Do List is a drug that I can’t seem to fully detox from.
The month of March did not disappoint when it came to the phrase “in like a lion, out like a lamb”. Holy shit. The first 19 days of March were a chaotic frenzy of scheduled classes and events. Though I had seen my family it was as if I hadn’t seen them. Though I was slipping in between the sheets each night it was as if I hadn’t slept. I went into each week hating Monday and hating Friday along with everything in between. It wasn’t until a divine intervention in the form of a wet nasty cough came into play on a Saturday morning. Cue bronchitis diagnosis on all three children not to mention a cold for mommy and daddy as well.
Swim lessons were cancelled. Karate belts were left unworn. Yoga classes were missed. Preschool and Kindergarten were issued absent calls. Tutus weren’t even attempted. The week prior to spring break was one long series of endless days of sick kids and exhausted parents. I sat with my little ones sprawled across my lap. We read mounds of books filled with fiction and talking animals. Plenty of odd characters and colors filled the television screen. The time spent indoors during recuperation, though snot filled and echoed with coughs, was a time of bonding, a time for retreat and not to mention gave me time to clean every inch of the house. The only problem was that we were leaving for Texas at the end of the week to start spring break at Nana and Papa’s house. It was clear we needed the helping hand of a doctor. Two days before we were scheduled to board a plane we wiggled our way into the pediatrician’s office on a sick visit. All three kids were checked head to toe, all three leaving with the same diagnosis. Bronchitis. All three with prescriptions to ease their breathing and help their little frames to stop coughing.
Fast forward to the plane ride. To make traveling with three year-old twins and a five year-old bossy brother even better, my ear tube popped causing a domino affect of pain and sinus problems leading to an infection and visit to the Urgent Care – woo-hoo! Long story short, I literally broke on spring break.
Breaking forced me to fully embrace the break part of spring break. It helped to be surrounded by family day and night. I went to bed early and slept in late. I sat by the pool and ate apple pie (that GASP wasn’t Paleo – it was homemade by the gals behind the grocery store bakery counter). I didn’t cook dinner once and laid in bed watching Law and Order more than once. I forgot about makeup and wore a hat rather than brushing my hair. Rest. A true break from reality. I welcomed it and so did my kids. They skipped naps, stayed up late, swam all day and ate fists full of candy and squished fries into their little cheeks. They followed on the heels of their older cousins and ignored mommy altogether.
As we littered around the living room after filling our bellies with Easter goodies. We rambled on about this and that, leading to the talk about taking a walk. My brother in-law’s dad responded “I don’t walk on Sundays, it’s a day of rest.” So simple yet so brilliant. A day of rest. When was the last time that i had a day of rest? When was the last time that I felt like it was okay to rest. March had proved that I could do it ALL, but it also proved that I shouldn’t do it. It also made it clear that days of rest were need for those small and not so small. So why is it that we feel like we MUST do it all? That we should wear all hats and not just one. That being well-rounded with a full schedule is far better than being down to earth and grounded with a lack of schedule.
With the taste of rest that spring break provided, I welcome summer. Not only for its sunny bright days but also its lack of schedules. Lack of structure and more freedom to promote creativity and imagination. Long days filled with independence, dirty hands and tanned skin. Far from being useless, resting play is the food that feeds the soul that drives healthy development for the young and the old(er). I invite the productive-lazy days of June, July and August. Months of exploration of not only nature but also the interests of my three wee ones, my own and my husband.
With less than 2 months before the last school bell rings to mark the start of summer, my family is gearing up for those warm days by not only planning but also breaking into restful play days. The bikes are out, sidewalk chalk litters the yard and our hands have already planted the first greens of our makeshift garden. We’ve ditched going home right after school for the play ground or the backyard. Our days are filled with more freedom and play rather than lessons, structure, treadmills and rules. I may not be throwing my bikini top off a stage or getting drunk at noon on a beach but I’ll be throwing caution to the wind and getting drunk on the freedom that summer has to offer. You get drunk too …