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Giving my kids the gift of nothing

Nothing Today I did something crazy.

I kept perfectly healthy children home from school. And no, we are not going to Disneyland for the day, nor do we have relatives in town who want to spend a little mid-week time with the kids. Nope. We have absolutely nothing planned today. And nothing is exactly what we need.

It all started last night over homework, when my 9 year old started totally freaking out that one of his homework pages was 'too wrinkled' from having slipped to the bottom of his backpack. I calmed him, and made a crisp, clean copy from my scanner for him. Crisis adverted I thought. This little incident was followed by my 11 year old slipping into tears as he explained his teacher's discipline for talking in class. Turns out he was telling a fellow student the the chair he was about to sit in was broken, but the teacher did not care about this 'thoughtful disruption' and forced him to take a zero on the quiz for that day. He told me about this harmless infraction and was bawling by the end. And so was I. He knew I believed him. He knew I thought the teacher over-reacted. But this was so much more to him. It was 'his straw' and his proverbial camel back was breaking right before my eyes. At one point his eyes looked right at mine and he said "you have no idea how hard it is to be a kid mom". Funny thing is, I know very very well. I suffered with similar self imposed over-achieving syndrome as a child and I remember it vividly.

Continually shooting for excellence can wear anybody down, especially children. My boys get nearly straight A's, receive academic awards left and right, are Little League and Hockey rock stars and above it all are known as polite and nice boys socially. They do chores when asked and are generally great little humans. But it all comes with EFFORT. Lots and lots of effort. And sometimes, it can be all too much.

So today, I didn't wake them early for a nutritious breakfast. I didn't pack lunches and double check homework. There was no quizzing spelling words on the way to school. There was no worry and anxiety over being late or taking tests. There was nothing but silence. Nothing but gloriously stress free silence.

So we are  taking a day off- to let them pause a little. Breathe a little and feel the weight of responsibility lifted. It is a gift I can give my children today. A gift I think that anyone would like to receive.

Please come visit Marcy at The Glamorous Life Association and see how her day 'of nothing' turned out.

This is an original OCMOMBLOG post.


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