But on a down day after a particularly busy weekend, I realized that not only did I not know when B's nap time was, but he didn't know any more. We struggled for a few days, tuning in again to what it means to be tired, and what to do about that (sleep!). And there were moments when I was wondering, should I have struggled against the breezy freedom of this season's nature? Should I have stuck more rigidly to a schedule?
I very much believe that rhythm fosters health, especially for little ones. And when I usually think about "rhythm", especially for little ones, I think about the daily rhythm, and sometimes the weekly rhythm. But I think what we've been experiencing is a surprising and yet very natural tension between the many different rhythms of our world. Because what we've been experiencing is the rhythm of the seasons.
Summertime has a very well known and breathlessly anticipated nature. There is a relaxing that comes with Summertime; school is out, schedules are eased, bedtimes are later, mealtimes are less formal, foods are sweeter. So, while I could have developed a schedule for the summer, marking out times for every activity and every moment of rest, I think, following that schedule, we would have missed the summer. We would not have known the summer's true nature and it would have passed us by.
That being said, the daily and weekly rhythms still exist, and they must be attended to.The trick I think, is to find the balance between the daily, weekly, yearly rhythms. Or maybe it is to learn to understand how the yearly rhythms color the other rhythms of our life. We are still working on that.
I have found myself thinking forward to the structure and steadiness of "when school starts". It dawned on me that no one in this household actually goes to school any more (how long has it been? 30 years? : p ). But it really seems to me that seasons have characters unto themselves, and I fully expect that when the days grow short enough and the air cools, I will find myself falling into step and slowing down. I am excited to see how the Autumn colors our daily rhythms. But we have a few more weeks of airy Summertime left!