by Claire Mathias
My original plan for this blog was to write having to plan for my son’s summer camps and a summer family vacation in February, when we haven’t even reached Spring! Next, having recently experienced some very rushed and frustrating days, I felt like the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, so I was going to lead with “I’m late; I’m late, for a very important date. No time to say goodbye! Hello, I’m late!”
After that, I thought I had finally settled on “Macca and Mac.” Macca being Sir Paul McCartney, and my excitement over his new album, “Kisses from the Bottom”, which returns to old favorites such as “I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter” – what John Lennon called Paul’s “granny music.” Mac refers to macaroni and cheese, my favorite comfort food, which I make in a much simpler style than most, by layering the cheese and macaroni, rather than making a sauce. It produces a super satisfying melted cheese experience. I made it last night. Very basic and very yummy.
Instead, I want to chat about getting back to basics, because in the past week or so, I have participated or overhead a number of conversations about things that were once taken for granted, but somehow we’ve lost. In particular:
1. Sleep. How much do we need? Generally we think 7 ½ to 8 hours for adults, although most of us don’t actually get this much. But recently I’ve been hearing that 6 ½ to 7 is probably closer to the ideal for most of us. Alternatively, some posit that it is more natural for us to sleep in chunks of 4 hours, waking up for a short period in between (to fold laundry perhaps?). My husband sent me this article from since he knows I frequently wake up in the middle of the night. (I read, although it might be more productive to fold laundry.) Bottom line, isn’t it amazing that we feel the need to plan our sleep?
2. Play and activity. After reading this article from the Statesman, with summer on my mind, and kid who finally learned to ride a bike this fall, I put something out of Facebook asking my friends how much freedom they allow their elementary age children. The answers varied, of course, although my favorite is my friend’s son who reports to his Dad via radio, so he can only go as far as the range (which luckily, is our house). In general, what I hear people express the most though, is how they lament the “easy” independence of their childhoods.
During physical therapy this morning, while I was working on how to find and use basic muscles, I eavesdropped on a couple of discussions about both of these topics. It seems the getting back to basics is something we all want. All morning, I’ve been thinking a lot about sticking to the basics, whether it’s food and music planning for summer, I need to be mindful of the adage “Keep Things Simple Stupid” (KISS).
And that’s one of best things about the Ronald McDonald House. When your child is in the hospital, and you are focused on complicate medical procedures and treatments, it can be a great comfort to have the basics of food and shelter taken care of for you. It helps you, as a care-taker, focus on giving that care. And it can be difficult to remember to care for yourself while this is going on, so we are here for you. Meals lovingly prepared by our volunteers, private and comfortable rooms, and friendly faces. Basic needs.
So folks, as you go through the day, I recommend you try to KISS whenever as possible.
ps I think I’m going to get my group of friends to come in the House and make some mac’ and cheese for our guests. I’ll talk to Jane Rose about it. You can do it too! (Click here to find out how!)