Saturday, September 14, 2013

Routine is Key

I know routines are important for everyone.  I know they are especially important for children.  I even understand that are KEY for children coming from instability.

I've been to the trainings.  I'm a college educated EDUCATOR for crying out loud.

We worked all summer to build a stable routine.

I failed to connect the dots that starting school was going to be a major upset to her routine.

I mean I knew her life was about to change.  She's 5.  She's starting kindergarten.  OF COURSE, her life was going to change.  She'd never been in school before.  Duh!

I didn't realize.  I didn't connect the dots.  I didn't see how much this would impact her overall life perspective.

Y'all.  It rocked her to the core.  Duh!  Of COURSE IT DID!

I always try to prepare her when anything is going to be different.  If my mom is going to pick her up instead of me, we talk about it.  If we have a doctor's appointment, instead of going straight home, we talk about it.  The days we have gymnastics, we talk about it.  If we're going to run errands on a Saturday, we talk about it.

She wants to know what her day is going to look like.  So, we talk about it.

I talked to her about school during the summer.  We toured the campus ahead of time.  We went to Meet the Teacher night.  We talked about going every day.  (She wasn't sure about that.)  We picked out a lunchbox and backpack.

I didn't talk about getting up early.

I've sat here and stared about my computer screen for a full minute.

How DO you prepare a child for Kindergarten?

Should I have told her she'd see me a lot less?  No, that wouldn't have been good.

We did talk about eating in the cafeteria, but unless a child has seen it before, how can she picture that?  How do I prep her to eat, surrounded by noisy 5 year olds, in 30 minutes, when she's never finished a meal that fast in a quiet environment?

Should I have told her she'd be exhausted?  Actually, we did talk about that some.

I mean.  Should I have done anything else to prep her?

Her world ROCKED.  Hard.  Not only did her world rock hard, but my world is CRAZY BUSY at the beginning of the school year, which means I am beYOND exhausted each night.

So, her world is tilted on an axis.  I'm not around as much and when I am, I'm tired and not the same.  She's tired, too.

It finally occurred to me this week how much simply the change in routine had affected us both.  I knew we were both tired.  I was thinking some things were a "phase", when in reality what is going on is both of us getting adapted to a new routine.

Lord, thank you for Your presence.  Thank you for opening my eyes to Your love.  YOU are stable.  YOU are constant.  YOU are steady.  Thank You for Your unfailing, unwavering love.

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