Another reason I haven’t posted anything is that, honestly, I haven’t been struck by much to write. This could be due to how busy I’ve been, that all my awareness has been dominated with the various comings and goings. But I’ve wondered if it is due to some kind of routine settling over our lives. Does there come a point when life settles and suddenly everything is no longer some provocative learning experience for parent and child? Is my four-and-a-half-year-old now at a stage where development levels off, where the milestones don’t pass by with less speed and frequency? Over the nearly five years that I’ve been writing this blog, there haven’t been too many weeks that I’ve struggled to come up with something to write. But the past few months have been that way.
I wonder if this is reflective of a larger theme of the journey of parenthood: if at some point parents settle in to their roles, grow accustomed to the emotional travails and triumphs, and find it slightly less life-altering to have a child running rough-shod over life? If so, is five years too late or too soon? And when the next milestone passes, how surprised will I be? Is this an eye in the hurricane, or a well-earned respite?
I could just be tired of writing. This blog has given me energy and hope and a space to reflect over the last five years, but it also takes energy. Perhaps I’m written out for the time being. That would be okay, too, I think. A sabbatical from the weekly task of written reflection might be what I need to recharge and refresh, come back with a renewed take on the growth of my child.
Before announcing an official hiatus from this blog, I might indulge in just a little more reflection before packing it in. If I feel this way, then how does my child feel? Does she also grow weary of the constant developmental circus, of the ceaseless processing of experience and insight? Some nights she won’t stay in bed, is so intent on continuing her exploration of play and energy. But other nights (or weekend afternoons) she tells us she is tired and willingly forsakes books or songs in favor of going straight to sleep. Children don’t always know how best to say they are tired and need a break, but they do seem better at it than adults.
Scientists say that growth occurs during rest. Muscles grow stronger not during active lifting of weights, but in their recovery afterwards. Neurons in the brain synchronize and solidify their new pathways during idle moments, perhaps most quickly during sleep. And I haven’t even started whipping out the theological themes of rest, Sabbath, and the commandment to let fields lie fallow. Perhaps it is time to be grateful for these periods when parenthood seems routine, not to mention coming off of a very busy month with the intent of resting in every possible aspect. I suppose I could enact a little wisdom by saying that I’m tired and ready for a nap.
I think it best to honor the rhythms of my life and announce that I am taking an intentional break from Shaken Parent Syndrome. I will not hold myself to the once-a-week posting schedule I have held over the past years. I am not quitting it, and I might even be inspired to return full-force in a week or two. Until then, blessings and rest to you. Enjoy the fallow naptimes of your life when you get them. There will be work and play to do when you awaken.