Hey, Louissa. Remember how this past fall you dove into September with a freshly printed chore chart and daily schedule and you were so excited that although official schooling wasn’t starting in the Tabolt house, you were going to get some semblance of order & structure going? And remember how you would have one good day followed by LOTS of not-so-good-days — be it that that little men weren’t so interested in cooperating with that new schedule or the Teaching part of chores was exasperating and you’d say, “I’ll take over — we’ll continue working on this next time,” or the Baby would boycott being her joyful self and demand most of your attention? And remember how you thought, We’ll never get this. They’ll never learn. We won’t ever have orderly days.? Remember how those hanging pieces of paper with chore charts and schedules would depress you because they weren’t ever being followed for a full 7 days straight?
And remember how in December, one morning as you told God of your complaints and how much you love routine and can’t you just get some help around here, you felt challenged about where peace & joy is produced from in your life? Is it solely dependent on how smoothly a day goes? And remember how you felt that gentle rebuke — no, it’s not right to get flustered and frustrated and stressed and to take it out on those around you when life doesn’t go according to plan — remember? I think you needed the Fall to not be quite as smooth as you envisioned because you needed to learn a thing or two yourself.
(And it took you a full few months to learn one lesson — why did you expect little people to learn all-new-to-them ideas in a faster period of time?)
This is me just reminding you of that.
A snippet of what I wanted this past Fall and is happening this January: table work & read aloud time following outdoor play — complete with Hat Head.
But these January days — all 12 of them — have been more ordered & peace-filled than all of those Fall days combined. This is me reminding you again that seasons come and seasons go — and no season is wasted. It took a season to teach a few things, but it did just that. It taught you and them. Suddenly, without it being a big to-do, morning chores are being finished independently, pick-up is happening the way you’ve asked, and you’ve figured out a way to get lots of Read Aloud time in during the day.
Oh, life still happens. And you’re living life with people so no day is what you’d deem “absolutely perfect”. Just last Friday you had an absolute zoo-of-a-day. But when you were nearing the freak out moment mid-afternoon, you remembered: this does not dictate my peace & joy. Though attitudes are falling a part, baby is not napping, and we haven’t gotten much done, this is not where my peace & joy comes from.
So yeah, just remember, Louissa: learning happens (though generally not overnight) and it’s worth it. Those months of, “This is how we put the top on the toothpaste, this is house we pick up our toys, this is how we clear the table,” really did work (no, it doesn’t always happen exactly as you want, but more often than not, it does.). So relax. And just remember, you have as much to learn as those little ones you’ve been given.