And so ends week 1

What a bumpy ride. The first week was a mix of delusional joy, sarcastic “see, told ya’ it would never work” (muttered under breath) and lots of tripping over obvious (or, apparently, not so obvious) bumps in the road.

Let’s regroup: first couple of days had the benefit of novelty, the challenge, the uncertainty (“surely Mom & Dad aren’t going to keep this up?!?”) and the sheer force of commitment on our part. Then came the doldrums, where old routines sneak back in. Add to that an earthquake in Haiti that kept Mom working 24/7 for several key days, and things didn’t go quite as rosy as we might have hoped. But. To their great credit, the kids pulled off a lot more than I think we’d have thunk possible — the morning routine managed to become routine with no prodding at all on our part. Lea would go all mercurial on us at times, vacillating between getting up an hour ahead of time, and crumbling into a quivering heap of self-doubt…

More than anything, though this was a time to learn. And learn I did (I’ll speak for myself until Lisa gets a chance to chip in). Picked up on a couple of big, red buttons of my own. I really can’t take waste (perceived on my part, that is): waste of time, waste of stuff, waste of opportunity. I get tense when I come across situations where someone “should have known better” and just couldn’t be bothered. I took the time to walk thru the ABCDEs of those events/my reaction, and it’s really humbling to realize what’s

I learned some things about the kids, too, or at least confirmed some nagging suspicions about what makes them tick or un-tick, as it where. Lucas really will stay up until way past midnight playing video games if given the chance. He apparently has no clue about when he might be in need of a shower. Lea will go into something akin to a catatonic trance when she’s overwhelmed by choices/decisions/tasks, and will fiddle idly with her backpack for twenty minutes in spite of having a mile-long list of things that still need to be done in order to get ready for school. And so on and so on…

Tonight is follow-up family meeting, and it will be very interesting to hear what the kids thing of this whole thing. More importantly, the onus is on us as parents to convey that a) this is only the beginning, but b) it’s something that will ultimately make us happier as family and them more confident and capable as individuals. Hopefully that’ll be the take-home for them, too, not just “So, are done with this little excercise, already?!?”

Just as an aside, I happened to note that in addition to the gold standard of participating and sharing families, these guys are having a good ol’ time on the Vicky rollercoaster — more power to them.