growing up · reading · routines

The Gift of a Quiet Morning

I’m big on putting myself out of a job because I constantly strive to help my kids become more independent. For instance, they’re expected to pack their own backpacks every morning. If they pack an ice brick in their lunch carrier, there’s a natural consequence: warm lunch. I don’t come to school to bring forgotten iPads, water bottles, or winter gear. It’s their job to make sure they’re ready to go.

But, that isn’t always easy. Our refrigerator’s water filter spigot dispenses water s-l-o-w-l-y, which leads to complaints.

I wasn’t in the mood for complaints this morning. Both kids had an early breakfast with Marc, dressed, and wanted to do their own thing.

Everything was tranquil. Who was I to disrupt the peace by demanding that they pack their backpacks.

I decided to ditch my normal expectations in favor of a quiet morning. I packed their lunches in their bags, filled their water bottles, and placed them by the door. Then, I went upstairs and applied my makeup in peace.

two backpacks + my cup of ice water

When it was time to leave, I asked both kids to come downstairs.

“By the way, both your backpacks are packed by the door. All you have to do is put on your shoes and coats.”

They were stunned into silence.

“Thanks, Mom,” I said in a kiddie voice.

Ari and Isabelle echoed proper thank yous, put on their shoes, then their coats.

As lovely as my quiet morning was, I looked at their backpacks and wondered if they’d expect me to do this again tomorrow. (Spoiler alert: This was a one-time offer!)

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12 thoughts on “The Gift of a Quiet Morning

  1. Aw, quiet mornings… I do respect the independence you are instilling in your kiddos. My teen is finally packing his lunch. I also enjoyed this exchange-
    “ They were stunned into silence.

    “Thanks, Mom,” I said in a kiddie voice.”

    1. Ari HATES when I say “thanks, mom” in that voice. I’ve told him, repeatedly, that if he showed more gratitude, he’d never have to hear me do that voice again. He hasn’t taken that lesson to heart yet.

  2. What time do you and your kids wake up? Our mornings were always so hectic growing up. No time for a real breakfast. Certainly no time to read.

    Good on you for instilling that independence!!

    1. Isabelle’s alarm goes off at 6:15. However, she had a medical appointment today so she had extra time.
      Ari wakes up between 6:00 and 7:30. Today, though, he had a bad dream and woke up around 5:20 AM. Therefore, he also had extra time.
      Most mornings, we do NOT have time to read!

  3. I am sure this is not the very last time you will choose peace over best practice. ALL parents make that choice from time to time.

  4. In Wendy Mogel’s The Blessings of a B Minus: Using Jewish Teachings to Raise Resilient Teenagers, she says something about how if you have never done something that is absurd, probably at the last minute, to support your child, you’re probably being too strict, but if, on the other hand, you have never made the child suffer the consequences of a poor choice, you’re probably being too lenient. (Somehow I think she was talking about a girl and a stained dress that had to be replaced at the last second because of poor planning on the child’s part – but that is really beside the point.) I LOVED that observation & keep it in the back of my head. Packing their backpacks for them every now & again is an act of love; they must have been delighted! Packing their backpacks every day would be over the top. Good for you for treating them – and yourself – to a little something special.

    1. I read THE BLESSING OF A SKINNED KNEE, but not the one you mentioned. Now that Isabelle is barreling down the road towards her teenage years, I appreciate you putting this on my radar. I’m going to put it on my TBR since it’s clear it contains sage advice! Thanks for mentioning it!

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