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We needed a day to recover – to recover from the frenzy of house cleaning and grocery shopping (that’s a tale yet to be told…) that happened yesterday. A day to recover from the awkward adjustment back to an imposed school routine that has us exhausted after such a magical holiday. A day to recover from, well, everything.

We decided that today was going to be a day just for us. No big plans, no busy schedules, no to-do lists, just us doing what makes us feel connected and at ease. A day to breath deeply and move gently. A day to play and to care for ourselves. No rules. No obligations. No expectations.

My husband was kind and let me linger in bed, then wake up slowly in a long hot bath. He had woken briefly when I finally crawled into bed some time after four in the morning and laughed a knowing laugh at me. While out hunting and gathering for our family yesterday, I sipped a lovely tea. I discovered much too late that it was caffeinated. Whoops! I gave up caffeine, with only a brief relapse during my most recent restaurant job, years ago. It keeps me awake forever. While that is great for restaurant managers, it’s not so great for the rhythm of my current life.

I relish the mornings I don’t have to wake up and rush around. Eric is much more able to tune out the kid chaos and still find a way to enjoy his waking-up time. I often find him curled up with a good book and a cup of coffee, while the kids run amok. Today was no exception.

Although both Eric and I both fell easily into our day, this little experiment in following our bliss, if even for a day, was puzzling for the children. Early on we were hounded with the question, “What should I do?”  We also heard, “I’m bored! There is nothing to do!” being emphatically exclaimed by each and every one of our little people at one point or another. Inside, these desperate declarations made me chuckle. We obviously need to get better at this! We need to exercise our weak bliss-seeking muscles more so they have the strength to carry us on this long journey we’ve embarked upon. We need to nourish them with time and space and freedom from expectations.

Sage gave me a wonderful gift today. She knows that for all of my new-found easy-going-ness, I still find my bliss much more easily in a peaceful (read: orderly) environment. By early this afternoon my house was beginning to look like a natural disaster, so by late afternoon I needed to take a few minutes to put my feet back on firm, familiar ground, and make a sweep through the house to restore order. While I was whirring about, Sage took it upon herself to clean up one of the most persistently frustrating areas in our home – the entryway. She even scrubbed the floor. With paper towels. I love you dear Sage.

Eventually, everyone found a mostly comfortable groove and the rest of the day was spent moving though all sorts of activities.

Sage has been intensely interested in the crocheting I have been doing. Being an already accomplished finger knitter, it didn’t take her long to learn how to hold the crochet hook and the yarn, and to do a basic chain stitch. Although there was much tongue chewing, she had a chain as long as she is tall in no time! She eventually wants to make a scarf – just not a pink one, please and thank you.

Willow also really wanted in on what Sage and I were doing, so she found a way to be close to us. A crayon became her crochet hook. Her yarn was invisible.

Freja spent hours – while in her favorite dress-up dress – playing with the play-dough we made last week. She talked to herself and sang her heart out. She was her best, sweetest, most independent little self today.

And in our continuing effort to rid ourselves of the wheat in our pantry, we put out a snack for the neighborhood critters. Oh, and we offered the wrinkled up old apple we found, too.

Today was funny and silly and messy and kinda strange. I think we’ll have to keep on doing this until it feels natural, normal, relaxed. At least today we opened up a bit of space in our lives for a little bliss to seep in. It’s a start.

Fewer rules? More joy? Yes, please.