As I was dropping my daughter off at school this morning, through the school drive-through, my son noticed my daughters backpack was soaking wet. Our school drive-through runs like a well-oiled machine and normally you have no opportunity to stop but thankfully today I was in a spot where I could stop. The kids climbed out of the car and one of the teachers on drive-through duty kindly pulled an empty water bottle from my daughters soaking bag, along with her soaked hat and soaked lunch box, thankfully it was PE day and she didn’t have library books, homework or any other of the numerous items she is required to show up to school with each week. The teacher gave me a quick smile as she waved me off for the day, no opportunity to check with my baby if she was ok, no opportunity for me to fix it, I had been ushered off to get on with my day if I wanted to or not!
As I drove off with my heart in my throat, I glanced in the rear view mirror to see my little girl happily strolling off through the school gate, smiling, with no look of worry on her face. She was fine, she’s such a happy confident kid. But as I drove off I realised I wasn’t ok.
You see this drink bottle incident was the latest in a long line of incidents that have happened in recent months. My kids are still small, I make them aware of what they need to have ready and organised for school, but ultimately I pull it all together for them and truthfully we have managed to be on time, remember what we need and have our stuff together for years, with only the occasional hiccup of course, I’m certainly NOT perfect, but we had a great mojo with our routine.
So in the past few months I have dropped the kids to school in the incorrect uniform, forgotten to pack library books, forgotten permission notes, mixed up the kids lunch boxes, lost jumpers, I could go on but typing but it makes my heart pound, you get the picture……….things are not going to plan.
This downturn in our family mojo has come from us living through five months of renovations and us constantly adjusting our routine around all that comes with tearing your house apart. It’s to be expected, there is no way I can keep everyone and everything together through the renovation chaos.
So, today as I was driving off with my heart in my throat, thinking, far out another stuff-up! I breathed a sigh of relief as I muttered out loud, “I’m soooo glad I made their beds”. You see I have a belief that your home should be your soft place to fall, a safe haven from the world, a place where you can shut the front door, breath deep and just be. We ask so much of our kids these days, their routines and school life are dramatically more intense than ours ever where. Long gone are the days of getting home from school, jumping on your bike and playing with your neighbourhood friends until the street lights flicked on and you had to get home for dinner. Our kids seem to live life like small adults and that makes me sad. They are missing out on the wonderful freedom we had as kids.
As kids we had to make our bed before school and fair enough, we had time, we had no morning activities or classes, we lived relatively close to school and we would only have 1 commitment per week that took time out of an afternoon, NOT 3, 4 or 5+ commitments. Making our beds taught us to be responsible for what was ours, to take those few minutes in the morning to do something that we would appreciate much later after a big day, it was important and I appreciate that I did this as a kid.
However I don’t ask my kids make their beds, in fact I just do it for them every morning, no discussion, I whip in there, pull the sheets up, tuck everything in neat and tight. Straighten and fluff all the pillows, leaving it crisp, fresh and ready for their little heads that night. I do it without feeling as if it’s a chore or something they should be doing. You see, I think they demonstrate to me that they are responsible, they tackle so much more on a daily basis at their age than we ever did. They have pressures we didn’t have, they can be time poor and have more on their plates than they ever should. So the concept that they should make their beds, just as we did, doesn’t sit well with me.
Home is my kid’s soft place to fall and their beds a place they want to snuggle into after a busy day. So when your day starts off with your drink bottle leaking through your entire school bag before you even get through the school gate, its ok, no matter what happens during the day it always ends the same, tucked in tight into a neatly made bed, safe, happy, warm, a predictable haven from an ever so busy world.