Mr. T went to bed with a cough and woke up with a cough, a terrible sounding hacking. The kind of cough that you almost think is worth a visit to the walk in clinic, but then think, “Hmmm, nah, they’ve had these before.” So I kept my little man home, and he and his brother spent the better part of the morning running around in pyjamas, playing pirates while attacking my pile of towels with their swords and reading more of the books we picked up from the library.
I decided that whatever the reason or age, be it 4 and a half, 2, or fourteen years old, kids get sick for real, and sometimes they just need a mental break too. There is nothing like a day of hooky. A day to hang out with mom or dad or a sibling, lounge in pyjamas, read books, watch movies and eat lots of soup and snuggle with the ones that comfort. I think Mr.T really is sick today, I also think he may have been able to get a half day of pre-school under his belt too, but at six o’clock this morning he certainly felt that all he wanted was a hot bath and to spend the day in pyjamas.
I think if we let our children get a mental health day when they really need it, we’ll see them with far less “fake sick days” and I think they will learn to handle stress much better in their lives. They need to know, just as we do, that taking a break every now and again is a good thing. They can replenish their little love cups from time spent with parents, or have some time for themselves just to do whatever they feel they need to do.
I wish I had been privy to this lesson while I was growing up, and I think most people can agree. We spend so much of our time trying to accomplish one thing or another and so much of our adult lives working, cleaning, being domestic and trying to self-fulfill some idea of who we think we really are. Did it ever occur to us, that if we spent a little more time here and there for ourselves that we would have more of the answers, more patience, more self fulfillment, less regrets, more genuine happiness? I can’t tell you how many magazines I have read that give advice with how to cope with stress, ways to relax and deal with stress, all of them emphasizing the importance of down time. Maybe, there needs to be one about HOW to do this. I can think of at least a few dozen ways I could relax, but how do I get from point A to point B, without placing too much responsibility on someone else? How can I get to the point of getting to the relaxing point, the hooky time?
Maybe we should be taking this instinctual lesson from our children, they seem to have this all sorted out, guilt free and all, they just ask. I will always let my boys get some down time whenever they need it and in the process I will learn how to be ok with taking some time for myself and learning how to do it too.
Cheers to pyjama days and running around with swords.