Many of us are in a pretty structured routine. The majority of kids and adults thrive when they know and understand what is coming next.
It applies to daily routines: first, we put on our clothes, brush our teeth, eat breakfast, and start our day.
It applies to weekly routines: on Monday we have school, then ballet, then dinner, then homework, then family time, then bed. Tuesday brings another set of activities, and so on.
It applies to seasons: back to school (why do we always seem to start the year with back to school?), fall and winter holidays, spring break, recital season, and summer.
And before we know it, another year has passed. And my girls are another year older. Having our routine so dramatically changed this year was disconcerting for us all, but especially our children. Not knowing what is coming next has put us all on edge.
I, for one, have been a cranky mess these days. We have had to become tech experts, counselors, and teaching assistants, all while balancing our regular jobs. We get 20 emails/messages/texts a day from classroom teachers, principals, and other administrators trying to be helpful, but all while giving us conflicting information. We are facing questions from our children that we simply cannot answer. My children are also cranky. They are spending more time in front of a screen than they ever have before. They have fewer real connections with friends than ever before.
Every morning when I wake up, I take a few moments to give myself a little pep talk. I remind myself to give people around me, and also myself, grace. Grace is such a powerful word. While the word itself frequently has religious connotations, it didn’t start out that way. It simply means ‘unmerited favor’ – a free gift. My gift to others (which is sometimes a struggle!) is to maybe realize that their routine is disrupted, and they may be (much) crankier than usual. Maybe realize that they have troubles in their lives and may be lashing out at me. Maybe realize that they just want what is best for their families, just like me.
I will try to give grace. May we all be gently reminded to do the same.
If you are coming to Little Sprout looking for practical items for your family, or just a little something fun to make you or your child smile, we promise to provide a grace-filled space where you can escape for a short time. We look forward to seeing you soon.