The fog has moved in today. Reddened cheeks, narrowed eyes, fevered hands. Suddenly all plans shift toward tenderness, care-taking. Time for snuggles, soothing drinks and simplicity.
Last fall our family came down with a different kind of fever. A soul fever. In his book, Simplicity Parenting, Kim John Payne describes the affliction of the "soul fever" ~ a feeling of being overwhelmed, stressed and stretched beyond limits. It's symptoms include irritability, tantrums, even depression. He prescribes a sudden simplification of routine ~ suspending after-school activities, possibly school itself for a day, and making time for simple pleasures, one-on-one time with a parent or time to simply be alone. In our case, time to simply be.
What began in September as exciting opportunities to play soccer, become a Scout and sing in the school choir by October became hurry-up-and-eat dinners, no-you-can't-play-outside evenings, and drag-a-two-year-old-along-past-bedtime nights. They didn't want to go and neither did I. We all needed a "time out".
While our bodies are currently fighting off a physical fever, it is comforting to know that we are still healthier deep down inside. Our soul fever has been treated and, at least for the moment, reduced.
Now we have sit-and-savor dinners, play-outside-until-it's-dark evenings and bedtime-stories nights. They won't be this young ever again. Soon they will want to be out past bedtime and I will content myself with memories of these moments we took back.
If you want to join in considering your version of simplicity please visit Elizabeth's Blog.