At some point in May, I kept the boys home from school. Just because I wanted to spend the day with them.
The alarm went off at 5:15 as per my new norm. I quickly reached over and turned it right off. My warm, cozy, sleeping boys were the bookends holding me in bed. I felt such glee just from owning the choice to bask in the beauty of being still with my boys. I placed each of their, still childhood chubby hands on my cheeks. Breathing deeply, as if trying to breathe in the feeling- a mix of joy and contentment, purpose and pride. It was a fleeting hour, in and out of sleep that left my soul completely rejuvenated.
Now its 6:00 am I quietly sneak out of bed, flip on the Keurig, call the bus and school to cancel and throw some cinnamon buns in the oven. 6:30-They’re still asleep. I’m working out now. There’s no way I will get to fit in in later. (Stephen lost his first tooth last night.)
Stephen woke first-stretching and moaning that he was so tired and didn’t want to get dressed. He checked the clock, 7:28. “MOOOM!!!!!! The bus is going to be here is 7 minutes!!!!!???!!!!”
I quietly whispered to him that I cancelled the bus AND school.
Surprised, overjoyed, with hands clasped over his mouth he goes bounding into the bedroom and jumps on Joseph to deliver the good news.
The next five minutes consisted of a naked five year old Joseph and a toothless seven year old Stephen running through every room in the house shouting “oooh yeah” and “yeah baby!” and giving each other high fives.
During their celebration my thoughts bring me back to staying home from school when I was younger. I am in my strawberry shortcake nightgown. My brother is in his He-Man jammies. We are dancing in the kitchen to Kenny Loggins. “Now I gotta cut loose, slip off my Sunday shoes..”
Lipton chicken noodle soup is simmering on the stove top. Our Mom calls to us from the living room, “Kids! come here The Price is Right is starting.” The memory so vivid I can almost smell the soup. A sense of warmth encompasses my heart and I know exactly what we will be watching as we have our lunch later on.
Cuddled on the couch in their Minion PJ’s munching on cinnamon buns the boys are watching Alvin and the Chipmunks. I am struck by their utter joy. I want to freeze time.
The boys play minecraft as I prepare the soup. They have no idea what to make of me as I belt out “Stephen and Joseph coooooome oooooon Doooown!!!” They are hysterical laughing. “MOM! You’re so crazy!” I give them their lipton soup and peanut butter sandwiches on WHITE bread…because let’s face it, its just better that way. I put The Price is Right on and sit with my babies as they watch their first episode.
And it feels good.
I encourage you to indulge yourself, pick a day to simply thumb your nose at the pulls of society and be still with your children. Take the day off from work. Turn your phone off. When the laundry list (pun intended) of daily chores starts monopolizing your thoughts shut your mind off and get on the floor and play.
Listen, I am not crazy. I know this is not something that can be done every day. For some of us it may work once a month, maybe once every 6 months or maybe even just once a year. However it works for you and your family, just do it! If it becomes a tradition even better. I know the memories I cherish the most from childhood are the traditions, no matter how simple, that my parents created. Like watching The Wizard of Oz together every year. It is still one of my favorite movies of all time and I know it is, in part because of the sense of family that I feel as I watch it.
In my opinion the American Family is under much too much pressure. We work too much. We don’t have enough dinners at the table together as a family. We don’t gather in worship as we used to. We don’t gather as an extended family on Sundays as we used to. An unrealistic pace has been set, and it leads to a fast and furious lifestyle at which we generally exist.
That’s why every little once in awhile, it is so important for us
to turn the alarm off and climb back under the covers and squeeze those babies tight.