Wednesday, March 28, 2012


1 : to strengthen by additional assistance, material, or support : make stronger or more pronounced

That message from this weekend about me needing rest? I think maybe God thought I wasn't opening that gift to the fullest, so he thought he'd reinforce the message.

Yesterday, while lunching with a friend, I got a call from K's school saying she had a fever of 101.  I didn't take her temperature within the next hour or so, but I can tell you it surely climbed.  Her tiny little body was positively radiating heat.  She had an up and down night and I ended up sleeping with her from 2 AM on.

So today finds us all resting.  A, B and I had several things planned for today: an annual check up for A, mid-day liturgy at St. B's, followed by a trip to the zoo with friends.  Since we knew all of that was coming, we did today's school work on Monday to free up today.  Around 8 this morning, I gave the girls a choice: take today off as planned (but to read instead of taking a field trip) or do tomorrow's work and take a field trip tomorrow.  The verdict was to spend today reading.  And resting.

Each of my children is more extroverted than the previous:

A (age 12) is a pretty classic introvert.  She would choose time at home doing quiet things over nearly any activity.  She enjoys people, but they wear her out.  We know to plan for downtime for her after she's been around a lot of people. 

B (age 10) is similar to J in her introversion/extroversion mix.  When J took the Myers-Briggs assessment, he was right at the border for I/E.  Both of these people I love need to be around others, but they long for time alone as well.  Their challenge?  Because they are in that space that bridges introversion and extroversion, they sometimes struggle against resting even when they need it.  They crave stimulation, but don't want to seek it.  B in particular will let herself be satisfied with nameless, faceless interaction instead of seeking real relationship, which would be far more fulfilling in the long run.

K is a classic extrovert.  The worst punishment possible is to send her away from other people.  In first grade, I suggested to her teacher that instead of removing playground time if K misbehaved, she should put her at a desk away from the rest of the class.  I think she only had to do this one time.  Over the last day while K has been sick, I've had to remind myself that she doesn't want what the rest of my family wants while sick:  she does not want to be left alone.  She wants me to cater to her, sit on her bed, rub her back and just be near her.  I think it delighted her to wake up beside me in bed.  The gift of having someone to talk to the minute you wake up!  Yet I have been thankful to see as K as grown that she does have a teeny tiny introvert in her.  She loves to read.  And, like her sister A, K is learning to listen to her body and soul.  She knows what she needs.  So she is reading in bed right now, getting the rest her body needs to heal.

I think it's interesting that the paragraphs I just wrote about my children got longer the more different the child is from me.  I find it easy to explain the level of interaction A needs because it's so similar to my own.  But I  have to work to see what B and K need because it doesn't match my own experience.  It takes me more words to say the same thing because I'm explaining it to myself and trying to understand.

Maybe that's the way it works with rest as well.  I need to understand that the amount of rest I need is not based on the time I have available to rest.  It's based on the need I have, regardless of how easy it is to set aside my own agenda for that hour, day or week.

1 comment:

EJN said...

This post is very thought provoking. Now, I am going through in my mind and thinking about our newer additions and how to be intentional. Thanks.