New sibling. New house. New school.
We are rocking our way through a pretty good staycation spring break, but already I’ve got my sights set on SUMMER. I don’t mean to jump ahead in time. Spring is great as far as seasons go. I’m always so appreciative that spring comes back around and saves us all from the clutches of winter.
But yeah summer. That’s where my mind is because—-new sibling, new house, new school.
So much newness ahead for my gang. My posse. My crew. My brood. My gaggle. Eh, I never know what to call them. My family? That works too.
I think a lot about how my wants and my decisions affect my family. My children didn’t particularly ask for a new sibling. They didn’t start a campaign to move us and be uprooted for a year+ to build! build! build! And they have friends and familiarity at their current school. It was we who wanted to switch them into a new one come Fall 2015–into a lovely little parochial school within walking distance of our new house. Yep, these were mostly all my wants (and Mitchell’s) and I feel it’s up to us to be as empathetic as possible in the coming months. We’re responsible for seeing these transitions through.
New people. New places. New things. SO MANY NEW NOUNS TO DEAL WITH.
That’s a ton to throw at anyone, let alone a seven, an almost six, a four, and a two-and-a-half year old. Are you ready Leo, Gus, Matilda, and Oscar?
HERE. CATCH! Hand/eye coordination, kids. Look alive! CATCH ALL THAT NEWNESS, now.
But that’s just it. I don’t want to sling that newness around. Heap it on them like that. Bury them in it for goodness sake.
And so summer. I’m thinking about it. Getting ready for it in my mind. How can I make these changeovers go smoothly for them? There will certainly be bumps and we’ll all learn and grow from those bumps. But a mom can aim for smooth can’t she?
I believe she can.
After some time, I’ve come up with a plan. A simple plan. Let’s call it PLAN STEADY. Because I like to name things.
I read a piece on the Huffington Post recently called I’m Done Making My Kid’s Childhood Magical. I’ll admit, as a lover of magical things, the title was initially off-putting to me. But I clicked and I read and I then I audibly exhaled.
These are the parts spoke to me:
None of this negates the importance of time spent as a family, but there is a huge difference between focusing on being together and focusing on the construction of an “activity.” One feels forced and is based on a pre-determined goal, while the other is more natural and relaxed. The immense pressure that parents put on themselves to create ethereal experiences is tangible.
A childhood without Pinterest crafts can be magical. A childhood without a single vacation can be magical. The magic we speak of and so desperately want our children to taste isn’t of our creation, and therefore is not ours to dole out as we please. It is discovered in quiet moments by a brook or under the slide at the park, and in the innocent laughter of a life just beginning.
Like when we’re just sitting around the table and Gus says to me Mom, you can a picture of ME, but DON’T LOOK at what I’m making…. YET.
I loved it. I love it still. I love everything about it. That. Sitting at the table with my kids. Listening to them talk. Watching them make things on their own. No prompts or pushes or constraints.
I don’t know if you do, but I see/feel the magic in that.
And those are just the kinds of experiences I want all summer long while we take in, breathe in, absorb, adjust, shift into the newness around us. While we take it the new in our arms and envelop it. I want to cradle the new, like an egg in my palm, and pass it along to my kids. Spend the next season laying low and listening and talking and listening and doing seemingly small things.
Comfortably walking into the next part of our new life.
That is Plan Steady, and I’m sticking to it.