Spontaneity. After 2012, the year my son was born, I never thought that word would enter my vocabulary again.
Truth is, I’m still a long way from truly adding it back into the rotation.
I remember when the idea of “trying something” was exciting and thrilling. There’s always a rush that comes from diving into unknown waters.
But children can’t dive into unknown waters. One temper tantrum after missing a nap will show you, they have no clue how to swim.
We are told that children need routine. But I found, after having my kids, I needed one just as much, if not more, than they did.
Children are, by nature, unpredictable and chaotic. It’s an amazing day when you look at the chaos and you have tamed it slightly with a routine.
During the week, my kids and I live and breath by our routine. Out and about in the morning, back for quiet/nap time by noon, then stick close to home until my husband is home at 5:30, when we have dinner and kids are down by 7 or 7:30. Wash, rinse repeat times seven.
Scary, isn’t it?
When you’re a parent, you keep your head down and do what’s working for your family… or what you think is working.
Lately my eyes have become open to the fact that my sanity rested on my own routine changing. I needed something more to look forward to. I always thought my kids weren’t the same until, summer vacation.
Summer vacation, the glorious months where there is no morning shuffle, no,waiting for the bus, no struggling to find out how their day was, just hours to fill.
And the routine to go out the window, slightly.
My kids had never been camping out in the backyard, they had never been to a local baseball game and sadly, because we were too afraid to mess with bedtime, had never been to see fireworks. I know.
It’s pretty terrible.
My husband and I began to realize after we started doing each of these things with them that we heard words like,
“I’m so excited!” Or,
“That was so much fun!” far more than we ever heard before, the exact words you want to hear your kids say on summer vacation.
Last night our kids went to bed at 11:00 at night. Everyone was a little more tired this morning. But when we were sitting at the table at breakfast, we were all talking about the fireworks we saw last night.
Routines are amazing. They DO give you some reprieve from the chaos of raising kids. But I found that I was becoming a slave to mine with my children and not giving them the chance to test their wings and be excited about something.
A wise friend once told me that children are a vessel for memories.
This summer I plan on trying to remember that a little more.
The clock watching doesn’t need to happen every day. Because every time I watch that clock, my kids grow a little bigger while my back is turned.