Of all the legacies my parents gave me, I think I enjoy the Sunday nap the best. When I was a kid, however, it was the longest hour of the week. Every Sunday, we would head for Sunday School and church, coming back home to our Sunday dinner of roast beef and vegetables. I never realized until much later in life that the reason the menu never varied was that it was a meal which could be left in the oven before leaving for church, arriving back home to a prepared dish. We didn’t have a long wait before eating, but after the cleanup came the dreaded nap.
One hour of enforced quiet time, lying down, hopefully sleeping, but at least resting. For a young boy, full of energy and imagination, it was torture. There were places to go and things to do! I didn’t have time to waste! Something might happen while we were asleep and I’d miss it! But onto our beds all of us went, there to lie quietly until the prescribed hour was completed. As with the menu for Sunday’s dinner, this nap was also something I didn’t understand until I matured a good bit, but now I realize that this time was for my mom and dad, not for us. They were exhausted. Five long work days for Dad and a continuous around-the-clock job of taking care of five children for Mom. How could they not be tired? Sunday morning wasn’t very restful either. Getting all the kids presentable for church, checking ties and shoes, making sure that there were no toys concealed in pockets or up sleeves, looking under fingernails and behind ears for stray dirt missed in the Saturday night shower, and combing the unruly hair. Then at church, teaching Sunday School, singing in the choir, ushering, chasing errant children, and finally back home, knowing all would be repeated later that evening. Ah! But, nap time was coming. The kids would lie down in their beds, quiet at least while the parents had a well-deserved, if abbreviated snooze.
I can so identify with that! The weeks are long and fatiguing, with not enough rest and more than enough stress. Sunday morning is still busy and Sunday dinner more so. The Lovely Lady is a good bit more ambitious than my mom was, so the table is always filled, both with diners around it and with food on it. I don’t sit around and watch ball games while it’s being prepared either, Today, I set the table (with help) for nine adults and four children and it bent beneath the load of food which the Lovely Lady prepared (also with a little help)…No not roast beef today. although that’s a favorite which is served frequently, but the ham was wonderful, along with salad, veggies, and bread, with a few extras squeezed in there (and I do mean squeezed in, if you get my drift). Afterward, the oldest grandson helped me serve coffee as the homemade apple pie was served with ice cream.
Ah! But nap time was coming (is there an echo in here?). When the company headed home and the cleanup was finished, I settled into my comfortable recliner, the Lovely Lady in her corner on the couch, and I slept the sleep of the weary. I don’t even know if she slept today, but a couple of hours later, I know I awoke refreshed, ready to face a new week. Now that I’ve had my restorative timeout, I can take whatever the natives throw at me in the days to come. Bring on your worst, your toughest! I’m ready! It’s amazing that the nap not only helps physically, but the mental aspect is improved as well.
I’ve told you about the attributes my parents shared with me, the high cholesterol and the breathing problems from Dad, the ability to “argue with a fencepost” from Mom. I’ve shared about the good gifts too, but this Sunday nap habit, I will be eternally grateful for. What a great way to cap off the Day of Rest. I’m thinking God is pleased with this, too. If you don’t agree, maybe you could just keep your opinion to yourself. I like this tradition and hope I can pass it on just like my parents did.
“I usually take a two hour nap, from one to four.”
(Yogi Berra~Professional baseball player and manager)
“Think what a better world it would be if we all-the whole world-had cookies and milk about three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap.”
(Robert Fulghum~American author and speaker)