Blanket Forts for a Tough World


I saw a meme recently that said, “I’m tired of being an adult. If anyone wants me, I’ll be in my blanket fort, coloring.” Life is certainly complex.

Whether you are a parent or grandparent, working in or outside of the home, single or married, there are bills to pay and stressful situations to handle. I used Time Out when my kids were little as a way to get them to behave. It wasn’t until I was a grandmother that I realized that “Time Out” could be a reset button and it didn’t have to be punitive. It could be proactive and, consequently, a place to build virtue.

Calling a Time Out

Time Outs became a break in the action, before things got out of hand. They didn’t have to be a “sit in the corner and don’t talk to me” kind of thing. They could be a moment when I, in all my adult wisdom, moved my grandson to a place where he could take a break from the hustle and bustle of the household and reboot. After all, I needed to hide in my car for five minutes before entering my house after work. Surely, this tiny human needed a respite every once in a while. We all need a moment to remember why we are doing what we do.

So we started doing pillow forts. He takes every pillow off his bed and builds a nest. Sometimes he colors. Sometimes he plays with his cars, but the important piece is that he takes a break (and I get one, too!) He rests for about 10 minutes and when he rejoins the family, he is a bit more pleasant.

It is not lost on me that the rise of the Adult Coloring book and the insistence that some of us (especially the introverts among us) need some time to detox, some time to be a child, some time to be free of the heaviness of everyday life.

"Blanket Forts for a Tough World" by Katie O'Keefe (

Copyright 2017 Katie O’Keefe. All rights reserved.

Calling a Time Out for Me

I think that’s one of the things that draws me to Adoration. It’s sort of like a blanket fort. There is solitude and quiet. You can revel in the shelter of Jesus’ presence and you get to be nothing but a Child of God for a while. Indeed, Our Lord calls us to cast our burdens on him, to let go of them and just to rest in his peace. Just like I am trying to lead my grandson to a place of virtue, where he stops and reboots before he gets himself in trouble, Jesus uses this time to help us learn to stop and think before we tumble into our favorite sins.

We all need this kind of blanket fort mentality. It’s crucial for some of us on a very practical level. But on a spiritual level, it’s just as important. Breaking the cycle of the frenetic activity of our days is important for our mental health. We need that moment (even if it’s only 10 minutes in silent prayer) to reboot and reorient ourselves.

So, grab your crayons and come on over! There’s plenty of room in front of the tabernacle.

Copyright 2017 Katie O’Keefe


About Author

Katie O’Keefe, mother of two and Oma of two, is a great fan of nifty new tools and dusty old books. After working for 25 years as a musician, Katie decided to go back to school and graduated with the BA in Philosophy from Ohio Dominican University in 2015. You can find more of her writing at The Backs of People’s Heads and Baby Faces.

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