Yesterday gave us glorious sunshine and a final outing for the summer wardrobe, today seemed to want to follow suit, but instead the morning glimmer of heat melted into fast-falling rain pounding the driveway. With Illinois Autumn, or Fall, seems to come inconsistent weather. One day flings the temperature back into summer and the next makes us feel like we’re in the English winter. Myself and the boys are constantly under or overdressed, depending on what has happened the day before. There’s something about being the mother who turns up at the park with children shivering in shorts on the assumption the sun was coming out again.
With the shift in seasons has also come a shift in the pattern of my day. Anyone who enjoys children who sleep after lunch will empathise with this change, as Rufus is beginning to drop his nap. A bit like the weather, he chops and changes as to whether he needs it or not but in a bid for consistent bedtimes, we’re gradually – and slightly reluctantly – letting the nap go.
To be honest, it’s not a ‘slight reluctance’ – I’ve been dreading this day because I love the couple of hours after lunch when we all have a little space from one another. Over the last couple of years, I’ve come to value that time as ‘my time’. Time for refreshing and resetting before the next phase of the day. Time for sorting, for reading, for thinking. Time for preparing that bible study, for writing that letter, for making that phone call.
While clinging on a little too tightly to nap time, I’ve been trying to establish ‘quiet time’ as a replacement. A time when he plays on his own. A time when we still have a little space. He’s beginning to get it, but he’s two and so we’ve got a way to go until he can do that for any length of time.
In the meantime, I’ve been wondering if it’s my heart that needs to shift. Rather than having an iron-fist grip around my ‘me time’, maybe I need to change my expectations. Maybe it’s not so much a ‘need’ as a desire. Maybe having a little man for company, even after lunch, would be good for us both. Whether it’s household chores, reading my Bible or simply chatting with friends, he watches, follows and copies. And we get some time together without a little brother to interrupt.
But sometimes, Postman Pat and his unending special deliveries on YouTube provide all the space we both need!