Category Archives: Peace
On those days that the indoors start to get to me, and I find myself becoming a bit claustrophobic with the four surrounding walls, parenting issues just seem magnified. The kids are louder, their tiffs are amplified, the messes they make just seem bigger, and on and on.
When the world seems smaller and small problems seem bigger, I realized that something automatically helps me feel a whole lot better—going outside. I don’t mean running outside for a moment of peace and quiet to escape from the “madding crowd” (though that helps at times). I mean bringing the kids along outside too.
Beneath towering trees and a timeless sky, amidst the cheerful sounds of birds and breezes, everything seems just a little more peaceful, enjoyable, and manageable.
With a few pieces of chalk, kids can create an imaginary world of fun, a hop-scotch tournament, or I can give an impromptu and interesting “chalk talk” (educational live class with pictures included).
They find sticks, and they are knights or soldiers.
They find dirt and they are digging for treasure or building castles.
They find bugs and they have discovered a whole new tiny world of living creatures.
They find grass, plants, and flowers and they have soft ground to fall on during a game of rough and tumble, or a place to run around and play tag.
And in the meantime, I can sit and take a few breaths of fresh air while watching them run around and play. Pretty soon they notice me sitting there and I get invited to a game of tag, or asked to draw a chalk train. After all, they want me to be a part of the fun…that’s what parents are for.
One thing I didn’t thoroughly consider when starting a family was my desire for peace and solitude—not all the time, but every once in a while is a nice thing.
But every now and again I have one of those days, the days where you wonder, “is it too much to ask?” for just a few moments of silence? For the chance to cook dinner without having to run out to answer the holler of, “mommy, he bit me”, and then a moment later submit to being “base” while they are playing hide and seek in the house. For the chance to sit down without my sons seeing it as an opportunity to jump on me and play rough and tumble?
We were now in the backyard. My daughter led her brothers on a campaign to find the ants beneath the rocks; of course, like any good general, sending them ahead and shouting instructions from a safe distance.
I surveyed the scene and saw the opportunity for a moment of silence. I tiptoed around the blossoming plants to the swing and there I sat, listening to a song on my phone.
“Come. Sit. Swing. Sit.”
Oops, apprehended by the troops. My youngest had noticed me and wanted to swing too. I sat him up next to me, and he held my phone and listened to the music with me.
My daughter ran up and sat down too. She held my hand while the youngest cuddled in my lap.
Allen decided to take down the clothes that were hanging.
One song passed, and another… and still it was quiet, peaceful. I realized that I don’t have to be alone to find peace, and truly, nothing can bring a better sense of love and completion than a cuddle from a child.