Every year’s the same. By mid-February, I’m longing for Spring Break to get here. And by the end of Spring Break?
I’m ready for summer to get here!
This year was no different. Yesterday marked the last day of another Spring Break. And as I put the kids to bed, I was a bit down in the dumps. Partly because the “end” of anything is a reminder to me about how fast the time is passing and how quickly my kids are growing up. And partly because I’ll confess that I don’t like the school-year grind. I really like don’t like people telling me where I need to be, when I need to be there, and what I need to do along the way! And after a week free of all those marching orders, it’s hard for me to get back into the routine.
Am I the only one?
As I was tucking my daughter into bed last night, though, it occurred to me that it’s probably not any easier for my kids to get back into the swing of things after a fun-filled week off from school than it is for me. If I’m struggling to embrace what’s on the horizon, surely they are too.
This isn’t something I focus on very much. Because with all the “doing” for them, I lose sight of the fact that they’re doing a lot for themselves too. They have very full plates during the school week, and after a week off, that can be a shock to the system. I need to be sensitive to the fact that the return to school may be tough for them and that they may struggle to settle back into a routine.
Knowing that a little encouragement can go a long way, though, I began contemplating what I can do this week to inspire and encourage my kids so that we all might have a better first week back. This is what I came up with:
1. Notes: Our kids love it when we write them notes. I know this for a couple of reasons. First, they tell me. Second, as they have mastered the art of writing in complete sentences, they occasionally leave notes for me around the house. Since the best gift is the one we’d want to get ourselves, I take this as a pretty good hint! So this week, I’m going to dust off my note cards and drop a short note in each of their lunch boxes every day.
2. Scripture: Scripture is part of the fabric of our family. And our kids have really begun to learn that there is power in God’s word. So when they get home from school today, they will find an encouraging verse and an “I love you” written on their bathroom mirrors in dry-erase marker.
3. Daily Devotion: In the past, we’ve done a really good job doing daily devotions together as a family each day of the school week. Honestly, though, we’ve stunk it up in that department this year. It’s been very hit or miss, I’m sad to say. But when we do it, all of us have better days. So this week, we’ll be setting aside the few extra minutes to read a devotion together and to pray as a family before school.
4. Prayer: I pray for my children often, but this week, I’m going to make an extra effort to tell them that I’m praying for them. Certainly, there’s power in prayer alone. But I think there’s added power in prayer when we know we’re being prayed for. I also plan to ask them every day if there is something specific that I can pray for on their behalf, and to pray with them about that specific thing.
5. Family Date Night: We have family date night on an almost weekly basis on either Friday or Saturday night. But generally, Kory and I plan what we’ll be doing, and it’s very last-minute and extremely casual. This week, though, we’re going to let the kids plan our date night. We’ll talk about it over dinner tomorrow night, and they’ll have something fun to look forward to all week.
Are you back to the grind today after a week off for Spring Break? If so, are you doing anything special to help your family get back into the swing of things?