I wrote this last June. I just thought I’d share it with you. . . .
We took our first ever camping trip over the weekend. We arrived at camp on Friday evening, around six, got the tent set-up (yay for 2-minute set-up tents!), and then started our fire for dinner. I felt that if we were going to go camping, we should go all out and do the whole camping experience—roast hotdogs, have smore’s, and end up smelling like campfire smoke. So the girls got their roasting sticks and cooked up dinner for everyone. It was so much fun. The girls thought it was all amazing! After dinner, we sat around the fire and sang a few songs, creating the whole camping experience. I enjoyed it, but it lent us to staying up pretty late.
I didn’t realize June was a chilly month for camping, and that night, it got quite cold. The baby was up in the night because he had an earache, so I took him to the van and tried sleeping with him there.
And since it was camping in a tent and you can hear every single sound through those paper-thin walls, the girls were up bright and early Saturday morning. It began sprinkling, so we packed up and left. Although there were some hiccups, I still feel like it was the perfect camping trip for us. We made some great memories. . . .
Until Saturday afternoon when the fatigue started kicking in for everyone. Our five-year-old was having multiple melt-downs when finally, after a moment of her exploding, I asked, “Sweetheart, what do you need to restore your force field?” (referring to the picture book on anger that I’ve read to her and we talk about often).
She was not in the mood for any kind of help. “I don’t need to restore my force field!” she screamed.
PROBLEM: My five-year-old was feeling lots of anger.
“I know what she needs,” my husband said. “She needs a nap to restore her force field.”
Well, he was right. She was so tired that she was having a hard time sensing where her boundaries were, which lent her to feeling pretty invaded over every little thing that happened.
SOLUTION: She needed a nap!
And I realized that sometimes, we will need a nap to help us regain our boundaries. Or maybe it will be a snack (or a whole meal, in my case). The answers to the question “What do I need to restore my boundaries?” might be an abstract thing to do, like forgive someone, or visualize recreating your boundary, or it might just be some plain physical action, like take a bath, eat some food, or even get some rest.
The only way to truly know what to do is to ask yourself. When you are feeling angry, what do you need to do to restore your boundary?