Sophie and I were chatting the other night as she was winding down for the night. She looked out the window and said "There's that cat. I see him every single night." It was a bob-tailed cat, and she said it crossed the parking lot across from her bedroom around the time she went to sleep every night.
Since she has been intrigued by all the first grade work she's been doing on patterns, I thought it was a great time to play into that thought process. My reply: "That's a routine, which is kind of like a pattern - it's something that happens every single day. I like routines, because I can look forward to them and know what to expect - they're comforting. Can you think of some other routines that you have in your life that make you feel good?"
She said she liked every morning when her alarm clock goes off and she comes to get in bed with us and snuggle for a few minutes. She likes getting dressed by the fireplace on cold mornings. She really likes the breakfast she's been having recently: whole wheat toast with a little butter and cinnamon sugar, half a grapefruit and milk. She said she liked when Daddy carried her to bed every night, and snuggling with us at bedtime. She even admitted that she likes when we make her lunches together for the whole week, and although she didn't confess to liking her daily chores, she did like marking them off her chore list. Amen, sister. There's nothing like marking things off a to do list. In fact, I've been known to jot something down that I've already done just for the satisfaction of crossing it off. Yes, I'm that cool.
All good thoughts, but most comforting to me was the idea that a seven year old gets it, and that she can speak thoughtfully about what is important in her life. I find my life is better every time I embrace routines, and that it feels frantic and chaotic when I let them slip. Last week was a busy one in our work and home lives, and I feel like my control of our house (and my car, ugh!) has slipped away. I'll be making time to get those things back in order this week so that we can slip comfortably back into our predictable routines. They make us feel like we can control a thing or two in life, and more importantly, they give us more time to hang out together.
Well said, seven year old.