Rest

Sunday night, Matt and I drove back up our driveway to reality. For the past four days, we had lived as newlyweds, except on this ‘honeymoon’ we were content to sit next to each other with a book in hand.

I read two books this week. I have to admit, I was relieved to know that I could still read considering I had taken six months to read my last book. I guess all I needed was a beach chair and umbrella and a couple of hours to myself.

And for four days, that was our existence. We woke up late and went to bed late after spending hours at the beach doing nothing. It was glorious. I’ve never been one for doing nothing, but now I see what I’ve been missing.

We started our vacation by getting our rings polished. Those first few years of marriage, we kept our rings sparkly and clean, but neglect from the last few years had taken its mark. They had become dull, merely a symbol that encircled our fingers but didn’t catch our eye. However, when the attendant walked out with our rings, I actually giggled. I found myself staring at my ring the way I had when it newly graced my finger.

Matt and I took long walks on the beach talking, not ‘how was work?’ talking, but really talking. We talked about our future and remembered our past. We didn’t talk about our kids much, either. I felt a little guilty that I didn’t really miss them.

Sure, I enjoyed talking to them every day, but I didn’t want to go home. I entertained the thought of hiring a nurse like the one in Romeo and Juliet. I would play with my kids and then hand them over to her when they started fighting or peed their pants. I decided that that plan wouldn’t work, though, because I actually do want to raise my children–just not during those days on the beach.

On the second full day, I surprised myself. I didn’t feel tired, anymore; sure, I felt lazy, and some of my plans for the day included a nap under the umbrella, but I didn’t feel like I couldn’t go on. And that feeling was one of the best of the trip.

We drove up our driveway last Sunday, and as the garage door rolled up, three little munchkins in pajamas ran out. I’m pretty sure that’s the first time we received applause from our children. I wanted to scoop them all up–there is just something about newly bathed children in clean pajamas.

And then the reality of what we’d been missing hit us quickly. Matt went right back to work, and I spent a morning at the chiropractor’s yelling at children who were fighting over toys. But I noticed, even while having pain in my back that wouldn’t let me turn to see what was actually happening in the rear of the van, I had patience. I disciplined better. And I loved greater.

I spent more time playing with my kids’ hair, and Matt and my kisses ‘goodbye’ lasted a little longer. I longed for him, and I desperately wanted, want, to keep up our walks at the beach where we talked about everything and nothing, together without distraction. I don’t want to fall into the rut of TV and Twitter; I want to keep our rings polished.

Rest was exactly what we needed to see each other with fresh eyes, and I don’t want to wait another ten years to rest again. I love Matt and my kids too much to run on empty. So the next time Mommy says” I need a vacation!” everyone better start packing their bags.

Have you taken the time to get the rest you need? Realistically, we can’t take vacation all the time–and in this economy, sometimes we can’t take a vacation at all. What are your suggestions for getting the rest we all need?

I’m linking up with Michelle for her ‘Graceful Summer.’

6 thoughts on “Rest

  1. We had a great time with the kids; not much rest. 🙂 But you do need to take mini vacations b/c it refreshes the heart and
    soul.

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  2. Visiting from Michelle's – and yes, I agree with you about rest. My husband and I left the kids for the first time ever overnight just a few weeks ago and it was lovely. So good to reconnect, hold hands, talk, or just sit and say nothing. It is hard to do that on a regular basis, but now I know to jump at the chance to do it again. In fact, we will get the chance to do it again this month, thanks to a wedding, and I'm already looking forward to it. Hope you enjoy some more "get away" moments this summer.

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    1. Have a great time at the wedding! Matt and I will need to find a really good excuse to get away, again–but right now, I think the grandparents need a break! 🙂

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  3. What an incredible time, Jennifer — I am so, so glad you and Matt were able to enjoy each other so fully and get some much-needed rest. I think they key is that we need to carve out little pieces of that rest every day. It's really hard, I know. This summer I've instituted "reading time" for one hour every afternoon. They go to their rooms to read (sometimes Rowan plays instead, but whatever), and I lie on the couch with my book and read, too. It's not nearly enough…but it's something.

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    1. I think you're right–it just seems that, many times, my attempts to institute a reading or quiet time end up with my getting stressed trying to make sure the kids stay in their rooms! I hope you're getting those little moments of rest this summer!

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