As I explained today’s challenge, my seven-year-old interrupted me: “It’s not a ritual, Mommy. It’s a tradition. There’s a difference.” Hmmm. Each time I used the term “family ritual,” he adamantly corrected me, until doubting myself, I decided to do some research.
Today’s challenge was the least stressful of them all. It took me all of two minutes to set up an email account for my kids, with the hardest part being finding an available username. There’s nothing like a completely clean slate. This is a screenshot of my son’s account. Think about this: one email, with zero responsibilities. He has no one waiting for a response.
I’m feeling a bit emotional. I just wrote each of my children a letter, a love letter. Does the average person even write love letters anymore, or is it all reduced to emails and text messages? Somehow, going through your grandparents’ text exchanges doesn’t exactly convey the same romantic notions as the airmailed letters of yesteryear.
My kids could not understand the concept of a time capsule no matter how many times I explained it, so we watched a few videos on YouTube. In one, a man used a metal detector to find his time capsule, a re-purposed Dukes of Hazard lunchbox. When he finally opened it some twenty years later, with his young daughter along for the adventure, he discovered a decomposed Yankees hat, a photo where his image had been washed out, and some wet baseball cards.
I thought today’s challenge calls for a poem, something I rarely do. Although my heart is in it, after more interruptions from my kids than I care to count, I’ve decided to abandon it.
The first week of camp has exhausted my kids. My son fell asleep a full hour before his bedtime yesterday. This evening, I read them a story (Little House), tucked them, and came downstairs. For almost two hours, I’ve been beckoned back upstairs. There’s no more toilet paper, someone got pee pee on the floor, they’re sneaking into each other’s rooms and bothering each other, this one got hurt. It shouldn’t suprise you that I’ve broken a few of my own rules: I’ve threatened (points subtracted from the reward chart), yelled, and even “because I said so” slipped off the tongue.
But now, it’s time to be grateful. I don’t often verbalize what I’m grateful for, and I don’t think I’m alone in that.
Three weeks into this 30-day challenge, I can confidently say it’s working for me. My kids have noticed the change in my attitude and the entire tone of our household has evolved. I will reflect more on this at the very end but at this moment in time, I deem the 30-day-challenge a success.
This morning, I tried to get some quiet time.