Just give me a routine I can break!

Perhaps by this time in the school year I’ve repeated, “We will NOT have a morning like this again,” a few too many times. Or I’ve finally realized that I’d forgotten to settle into the new school year like I’d text-promised friends, “Let’s grab coffee once we get into a routine.” (Am I the only one? Please say it isn’t so.) Either way, instead of pumping the breaks once in a while to look around, I’ve been burning up my tires on life’s racetrack.

And as I look up to discover the Holiday-straightaway once again in my sights – time to open the throttle – I anticipate that in this most wonderful time of the year, an already-full plate will overflow. More stuff, less time, less sleep, more fussiness, less routine.

Wait, I don’t even have a routine to break!

So I turn once again to cultivating hope with *the inspired checklist.*

I used to view checklists as a line in the sand: “Do this because I said so.” But in a mindset of love, communication, and growth, they have become a path of hope. On this path, we know where we are, where we want to go, and we have both the tools and belief to get there. And we are together in our travels.

In addition to paving the way for us, the checklists tell my children:

1) Communication: I care about you and success. This list is a record of the things we decided will help you contribute to our family’s positive relationship. I can communicate with you to support your achievement. We know what is on the table and what is off the table for our morning routine.

2) Responsibility: This is a working-record of your ownership in our family-team. We’ve discussed that each of these items is doable, and we are tracking your progress to achievement. I will help with obstacles that are in your way. But these things are YOUR deal. (Firmly, gently, and with a hug, if they’ll let me).

And so as the early sun hints at its promise of a new day, hope sits on my kitchen counter, revised and freshly printed.

(to be continued…)