Sometimes you need to take a minute, or an hour.
Mornings are always a great rush in our house as they probably are in yours. Got to get the kid to school and back to so the terribly important things on my list.
No time to stop. No time to wait. No time to think.
This morning, Rowan was having a rough morning. Her hair was tangled and she got upset when it got snagged as Amy brushed it. Then she got upset about some other thing. Then another.
The classic overwhelm pattern. Happens to me too. One thing makes you irritated but you don’t take a moment to let it go, then the next thing is more irritating. Before you know it five non events have piled up into an overwhelming catastrophe.
Happens to many adults, and it happened to the kid this morning.
I was in go go go mode. Things to do. Places to go. No time for crying.
Or was there. We had a few minutes. So I made time for snuggles. We had ten minutes to be precise, but I made a decision there that nothing on our schedule this morning is all that important. Nations will not rise and fall on my to do list or her getting to school on time.
We sat there, snuggling on the couch for about 15 minutes. We headed to school, but she was still out of sorts.
We pulled up to the school one minute late. I could tell she was upset. I also knew that if I pushed her she would tough it out and troop into school.
Not today. No need to tough it out today.
I put the car back in gear and we went for a drive. Out and about on the country roads. We talked about anything other than whatever was upsetting her. We talked about color wheels and light and albedo and awkward misspellings and made up languages and Klingons and all manner of things.
30 minutes later, our circular journey was complete, and we returned to the school. I parked and led a happy child into the front doors to begin, slightly delayed, a fine day of learning.
Children are nothing more than small humans. They have less experience and grounding than adults, so they feel everything more intensely, but it’s the same emotions, just more raw.
Sometimes we all need a moment to decompress. Call it self care or call it rest and recovery. The point is we all need it.
Rowan needed it this morning. I need it more often than I get it. You probably do too. She didn’t need a week or a day or half a day. Thirty minutes was enough to take the tension off, let her reset, and reengage at full energy.
For most of us, nations do not rise and fall on our every action. If we take an hour off, the world keeps on going, but that one hour can be just what we need so that we ourselves can keep on going.
Take the half hour. Take the hour. Take what you need. Yes you can afford to take the time. In fact, you probably can’t afford not to.