When my children become emotionally overwhelmed, I often tell them to “take a breath.” I try to help them slow down for a moment and breathe deeply. Somehow, if they do this, it calms them long enough to create perspective. I find, as an adult, there are times I too need to “take a breath.”
This spring, we decided to take a collective breath as a family. Honestly, we didn’t really plan it as much as it just happened. With Mike in school and working two jobs and with my recent return to work (part-time), it felt like we rarely had time to simply relax and be a family. None of our kids expressed an overwhelming desire to participate in any particular activity this spring….so we opted not to sign up for anything. The only “extra-curricular” activity they currently have is piano (for Jackson) and church on Wednesday nights. Otherwise, our evenings are usually spent at home.
Now, to be clear: staying at home 24/7 is not my jam. We did that one year and it was the longest year I have ever known. Time slowed down to a snails pace and I felt like I was losing my mind a few times. I was starved for adult interaction (and that is saying a lot since I am an introvert). This spring we were at a point where we needed to slow down and breathe. I love being busy but busy-ness can become addictive. Our lives are not less meaningful if they include blank spaces. I realize I can complain about my family’s hectic schedule or I can do something about it. This spring we decided to take a break and simply breathe. We have been able to sleep more, relax on Saturday mornings and have pajama days at home. Our weekends have revolved more around our children simply playing and being kids.
I am 100% in favor of my kids being involved in activities and sports, in particular. Sometimes, though, we need to take a breath and give our kids space to simply be kids. Jackson, Kate and Lynleigh seem to thrive on structure and having planned activities. Yet they also need the balance of time to relax and play.
This spring I am very grateful for the lazy weekend mornings. Not having to rush to get everybody out the door has been exactly what my soul needed. Sleeping in until 7 (yes, that’s how we define “sleeping in” this season of life). The opportunity to enjoy the beautiful weather and the sweet family God has blessed me with has been wonderful.
This fall we will have two kids in school (!!!) and, no doubt, lots of fun activities (Kate’s already asking about ballet lessons). But, for now, I am going to enjoy this moment of choosing to breathe, to rest.
“Let be and be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10