There is a very well worn book by Shirley Neitzel with the simple title I’m Not Feeling Well Today that we have fondly read and reread many times over the years.  It is a rebus story, one of those beginning readers with pictures that the children can point to and “read” aloud as someone shares the story with them.  It is told in simple rhyming verse.  My children are far removed from those early days when they sat on my lap and pointed at pictures in books… *sigh*  But it was this very book that started a delightful tradition in our family.  The I’m Not Feeling Well Today basket and I’m Not Feeling Well Today day.

In this short book is the story of a little boy who insists he cannot go to school because he is “not feeling well” and begins to ask for his favorite things to comfort him and aid in his recovery.  Some of his requests are for classic home remedies like “cinnamon toast and lemon tea” and boxes of tissues along with security items like “Bear, my special friend”.  Among them are included other comforts such as blankets and pillows, and for entertainment he pleads for books, jigsaw puzzles and “cartoon programs on TV” as the list grows ever longer and his behavior ever more playful.  This fun little story has a delightfully clever ending where the little boy learns that a storm left too much snow and the roads are closed so there is no school that day and he joyously exclaims, “Hurrah!  Hurray!  I’m glad I’m feeling well today!”

Sometimes we just need an excuse to take a break.  In our busy lives we don’t always give ourselves room to rest and recover (from life).  I think of it as the sabbath principle.  There are seasons of work and productivity, and there are seasons of rest and creativity.  I believe it is only healthy to have a balance of the two.  Today I claimed a day of rest for myself; a bathrobe day.  I had three homemade chocolate chip cookies and a glass of milk for breakfast (at 11:30 a.m.) by the fireplace.  My children were already lounging by the Christmas tree (yep, it’s still up) working together on the family cross-word puzzle from the morning paper.  After making my morning tea (11:45 a.m.) I shuffled off to the computer and read some of your lovely blogs.  A little later my daughter secretly made my bed for me and my son gave me a cuddle on the couch.  Ah, bliss.  This is what rest looks like.  And so far 2013 is looking very much like a Year of Jubilee.

When either of my children, they are fifteen and (nearly) thirteen, is in need of an I’m Not Feeling Well Today day, a.k.a. a day off from home school.  Or if they are indeed not well.  We still get out this dog eared favorite and read (recite) it together as we snuggle down with pillows, blankets, a basket of their favorite things and a tray of goodies.  Usually very closely resembling the items listed in the story.

© Una-Melina // Worthy Books & Things, 2013.