I’m a planner. I like to think I’m organized, at least until we moved. I’ve been more of a scattered planner lately, if that makes any sense. The toughest days for me, in general, are days when I have made no plans. Some days I plan to have no plan, and that works. Looking back on the past few (or four) years, the days where I start out with an agenda tend to be the best. Since the move, I’ve been really missing routine. Some days I have a plan, and some days I don’t. Occasionally, I force a plan and that usually ends with someone in tears.
This past week, my middle child has been home EVERY day. We let him skip school on Tuesday since our friends came up to visit and we spent the day at the zoo. It was a lot of fun! But he’s been difficult, with the exception of the time frame our friends were in town. He wants to play electronics all the time, and I spend most of my day telling him no electronics and subsequently being called a mean mom. Today, we were going to Bible study. I woke up not really feeling it, but knew I should go. Check off the box, put myself out there to meet some new people. So I got dressed, put on makeup, grabbed my workbook and diaper bag, and herded the youngest two out the door to go. My middle child didn’t really put up much of a fight, but I knew he didn’t really want to go. It’s two hours that he and my youngest are with a sitter. As we got in the car and headed to the church (which happens to be by the zoo), my youngest kept exclaiming, “zoo!” She loves the zoo. As we got closer, she got more excited and yelled out more.
I felt more anxiety about going to the Bible study than going to the zoo, but I felt more guilt about going to the zoo. I decided to detour. We went to the zoo. After I made the decision, I felt peace. I warned my middle child I wasn’t taking any money in; we were here to see some animals! And it was magical, really. He kept telling me how much fun he was having, and this was the best day. We took our time and read some signs at the zoo. We talked about the animals. When spent an hour and a half just walking around. Afterward, he wanted to go to Burger King. So we went. We ate lunch out and enjoyed our time together. When we got home, we played Monopoly Jr. a few times while the youngest napped.
This unplanned, unexpected day has been one of the best days I’ve had with him since the move. I have been praying about my relationship with him and the way I parent him. God knows it’s been tough. God knew I needed a day like today. I needed to detour – even if it meant not going to Bible study. He gave me a peace about it, reassuring me that my decision was the right one.
I came across this verse a week or so ago, and it speaks to me now as it did then:
“Many are the plans in the mind of a man,
but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” –Proverbs 19:21
God has been trying to get me to chill out for about two months now. Today, I finally did. And it was a good day.