I have two boys, ages eight and nearly eleven. They are full of energy and seem to radiate a buzz that I can’t define. So, when we talked about what they wanted to do for their Fall Break, I was surprised when my youngest said he wanted to join me for a Saturday spent in bed. We made plans. We dreamed of bringing in books, paper, pens, crayons, his DS, the iPad. We dreamed our itinerary: watching movies, reading, drawing, napping (for me), playing games (for him), talking, storytelling…. on and on we went.
The more we discussed our Saturday, the more my husband and I realized that he was serious about this. He wanted to spend his Saturday in bed, with me, nesting. An eight year old boy. I came to realize that his need for down time is real. His need for self-care is just as real as mine. So much so, that it looks identical to how I care for myself–carving out time just to lounge in bed and to do whatever quiet activity I want to do. My other son offered to be our waiter and general go-to-boy, which worked out well for his need for movement and for our needs of nourishment.
So how did it go? It was pure bliss. Both boys woke up and joined me in bed. We found a movie, and watched it with the cats nestled in between us. Our day slowly evolved and we slipped out of bed, but the best part was that we listened to ourselves. We listened to what we needed. Our dreaming up a self-care Saturday was just as profound as doing it. As our Saturday wore on we didn’t need to be in bed. We wanted to be out playing, eating, drinking coffee (me), singing, playing games, walking, reading, writing, going to the library, and so on. Our day of self-care was just that: a day to do what we wanted. I hope my boys learn the joy of listening to what their bodies, hearts, and minds are telling them: rest, find joy, just be.