"I just don't feel like myself. I feel like a fox being stuffed into the body of a falcon."
When this is what your kid says, after a hard OT session, on the Monday of spring break, it's time to shake things up.
Sometimes, we just don't feel like ourselves. Sometimes it takes a six year old saying something awesome to remind us that he is as prone to that weird, stretched-thin, aching in your own skin feeling, as any teenager or thirty-eight-year-old.
And when it happens, even when you know that the reason for the feeling is likely the rhythm-less world of spring break, when there is no school, and nothing is like it usually is, and there's been too much screen time and not enough time outdoors or sleeping, even then, it calls for letting go a little more, so you can bounce back into yourself.
Eating ice cream for dinner.
And when it was suggested, that we get ice cream, the brow unfurrowed, the eyes sparkled, the gap-toothed smile came back.
The sun came out.
And when the first stop doesn't have pecans? Do you settle?
Drive to the next ice cream shop, and order what you really wanted.
Yes, children require rhythm, wholesome food, fresh air and deep sleep. We all do.
They also require deep listening, and moments of puckish, topsy-turvy delight. We need those, too.
I needed ice cream for dinner, and now I can face the day-to-day, the laundry and the tidying and the endless dust bunnies.
When you are a fox, being forced to be a falcon hurts. But being invited to fly? That's joy.
Sara is a storyteller, writer, artist, teacher, wife, mother, and singer living in Minnesota. I write about storytelling, and about living a life with stories.