Every afternoon this summer, between 1:30 and 3:00, I scoop Kieran into my arms and give the signal to the other kids that means "Screen time! Now! Do whatever you want as long as you're quiet!" And I walk down the hall to Kieran's room and pull the blinds in his window and I turn on a small fan in the corner and I click on his bedside lamp. We read a book and I say, "You know what time it is now?" And he grins and says, "It's time to SNUGGLE!" And I click off the light and burrow under his construction trucks quilt, and he puts his head next to mine on the pillow and sucks his finger and puts his other hand on my face and we both sigh and take a nap.
Every day. Without fail. A nap.
This has saved my life this summer. Corey's traveling, per normal, which means I'm solo parenting four kids this summer, all day, 24-7, without help, by myself. (I know that's redundant but the point needs to be emphasized.) I am a little rung out, honestly, with all the bickering and the cruise-ship-directoring and the constant cleaning up in the kitchen. ("I just made lunch. How can you be hungry again?") It's good, don't let me steer you wrong. I love these lazy summer days and I love being around my kids, most of the time. But it's also depleting, this constant parenting. So to have a daily break, when I can lay in a dark room and hear nothing but the gentle swoosh of a fan and the deep breaths of my sleeping three-year-old next to me? To have an hour every day to drift off and rest my body and my mind? It's the hinge in my day. It's when I reset, refocus, refresh. It saves me.
What's saving you these days?