After I gathered all of the groceries on my shopping list, I used to think, “Okay. Done.” Only recently did I realize that when everything is in the cart, I still have a long way to go. I still have to wait in line, put our food on the belt, buy it, put it back in the cart (“Anyone need to go potty before we go home?”), put the bags in the car, drive home, bring everything inside, including the children, and put the food away. While the hardest part may be done when my cart is full, I’m not done. I’ve started to think of the checkout line as the halfway point. Maybe you already realized this, but I just figured it out and I don’t dread going to the store as much anymore.
We’re all a lot happier now when it’s time to go shopping.
Routines get us through the day – especially the end of the day when everyone is tired. Everyone knows what to expect, because we do it the same way every night. Routines are so commonplace, we hardly notice them. We’ve done them so many times that it’s hard to believe we could forget any part of them. But they slowly fade away, just like a baby’s chubby cheeks. Take a few minutes to get some pictures of one of these ordinary times. Try it: record a routine.
Atticus and I read the same book at bedtime every night and have for a few months now. I can recite the text. So can he. With the words and images so etched in my mind I don’t feel like I’ll forget any of it. But, he’s my third child, and I’ve watched these seemingly unchanging routines change with my older children without my noticing. What books and songs did my oldest love when she was three?
As parents we’re good at bringing out the camera at birthdays, holidays and the first time our child walks or rides a bike. But there are so many ordinary and beautiful moments between those big events. Look for one of those less noticed times of your day and try it: record a routine. Let me know how it goes.
Extra Credit: Get yourself in the picture!