Think back to when you were a kid and when you felt the most safe and secure…what images come to mind? Were you with a particular person…or in a certain place?
Chances are that you were tucked into a small space with someone you loved. What sensations does this memory evoke?
The world is a big place with a lot of things coming at us all the time. Sometimes we just need to close it down a little bit — like clicking the minimize button on the computer to narrow things down to a smaller focus.
Occasionally these recharges happen naturally, but otherwise we have to be a little intentional to have some prompts in our environments to slow down. As moms we can provide some nooks around the house to encourage our kiddos to find a place to recharge…
-a game table for an impromptu game or puzzle
-a seat tucked into a corner with a cozy blanket and soft pillows; some low-key reading materials
-a bedroom fort, making the most of those bunkbeds
-a desk in a corner of the family room so your child can share your space while you’re making dinner
-a pile of beanbag chairs for kids to plop into while reading or gaming
Every one of us craves a nook that is “just ours,” where we can get lost in a good book or daydream and plan. This space is not just for children. My husband’s nook is usually a favored chair in the living room where a nap can ensue as the lullaby of sports plays him to dreamland. As a mom who is always searching for a moment to be creative, I find myself “nesting” throughout our home. I leave lots of “twigs and fluff” in each room so that wherever the children are, I can settle in as well and be near. I group reading material in baskets, and I have small containers holding current projects that I can pick up at a moment’s notice. My nests are for the most part side-by-side with my kids’ nooks. However, once the day has been put to rest, and I can really call my time my own, there are nooks that ground me and restore any fraying from the day…
I have a battery-powered candle that is on a timer so that when I finally make it to my bedroom at night, I walk into the glow of this candle. It makes me smile each night when I snuggle into bed with a good book.
As you think about the personalities of your family, nooks and nests will begin to emerge on their own:
-a reading nook
-a Lego nook
-an electronic plug-in nook for all iPads, etc
I love my coffee nook with a devo for the start of my day.
I laugh as I walk by a nook I set up for my boys: an oversized chair, a small table and low lit lamp with comic books… 3 boys are surrounding this nook they were drawn to, but none of them are in the chair! Each boy is laying on the floor or under the chair...unconventional nook building.When I think of a nook, I think of it in layers…indirect lighting, a soft place to snuggle in, sounds in the background…white noise of a home that reflects each individual settling into their spaces after being out in the world.
Sometimes a cozy space is outside. When we moved, one of the first things we did in the yard was hang our hammock. It became a magnet for boys seeking a daydreamy spot to gaze at clouds or squirrels chasing each other overhead. From the house often the only thing visible is the top of a head, knobby knees, or a pair of dirty feet.
Remembering my mother’s nature nook: on warm summer nights after dinner, she would slip away to her garden patch in the backyard by herself. She would garden through dusk and come in with the fireflies for bed. It was good mental relaxation.
As a preteen, I would sneak away barefoot to the swing outside and sway back and forth under the stars. I felt secure looking past the windows and seeing my parents unwinding with the news or a book inside our home. I liked testing the distance with a safety net still in place during those formative years of adolescence. I would dream and grow in that swaying nook.