My tween celebrated her birthday with a slumber party with 7 other tweens. I was prepared for craziness, sleeplessness and lots of piercing squeals. What I was not prepared for, though, was for the perhaps most poignant moment of the night. The moment when all the tweens stopped, breathed and were still. And quiet. And peaceful.
I know - tweens? Are we talking about a group of 11 and 12 year old girls? Yes, we are.
Allow me to back up a moment. The party had a spa theme, so the girls painted each other's nails and a mom friend and I gave mini-pedicures to them. Then we moved on the face mask part of the evening. Sitting around our kitchen table, the girls slathered a cleansing mask on their faces and placed cucumber slices on their eyes.
One girl mentioned that we needed spa music (yup, I should have thought of that, but I was more about buying earplugs). Cue my awesome husband who produced the soothing sounds of the Sirius XM spa station almost instantly. (Have I mentioned how much I love this man?)
Within seconds, the girls quieted.
And I mean, they were quiet. One of them tried to talk, the one who is always talking, and she got roundly and somewhat harshly "shhhhhh!"ed by the group.
You could hear exhales, and it was like the weight of the world lifted off their narrow tween shoulders.
One girl dared to speak, but only to ask if she could lay down on the couch. I'm indulgent, but no face mask on my couch. I declined and she asked if she could lay down on the floor. I said sure, and a few other girls followed suit.
You could hear a pin drop.
After a few moments, they started to stir and they said:
"That was really cool."
"That was so relaxing."
"I haven't just sat and done nothing in years."
Now, I realize if I had told them that they had to just sit and be still and relax, they would have been beside themselves and there would have been, at a minimum, uncontrollable giggling. But given a choice to do that, they took it. And they relished it.
I'm not saying all kids need face masks, but I do think they need moments of doing nothing, of just being.
It's not surprising news that a lot of kids are overscheduled. Scheduling down time is not something I'm good at doing, either for me or my child. I worry about missing out on a great opportunity for her and my efforts to make her well-rounded keep her on the go.
Observing these girls soak in the moment of calm really hammered home to me the importance of down time, even just a few minutes. There is always craziness, be it surrounding back to school preparations or birthdays or holidays or just life in general, but helping kids find moments of quiet may just help them (and us) regroup and handle it a bit better.
Do you have ways to help your kids take a moment away and recenter? And is anyone else as shocked as I am that there were moments of quiet at a tween slumber party?
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