The beginning of this school year was a little rocky for my Becca. For the first day of 10th grade, Jordan was way off in France and I was in Utah settling Madison into her BYU dorm. Needless to say, the first day did NOT go seamlessly. Everything seemed fruit-basket-turnover -- and it would take some time for our family to find it's new normal.
During those first weeks of the new school year, I felt like Becca needed a little more support, so I determined to send her off with a cheerful heart each morning. This might not sound like much, but Becca's morning starts at 5 AM -- so IT'S A LOT. My usual routine was to yell, "Have a great day!" (from my bed) as she left the house.
I know. Don't judge.
Sometimes, when I was feeling especially maternal, I'd hobble to the living room and chat with the girls for a few minutes as they put on their shoes.
But this year it was just Becca -- no sister to accompany her. So, I started getting up. At 5 AM. While I was up and she was getting dressed I decided to make her lunch (I've had the kids pack their own lunches for years -- although I provide an entire pantry shelf of lunch-ready foods). And then, because I had a little more time, I made her some breakfast. When she came down, we sat at the bar and she ate her breakfast while we read the scriptures together. Then we said a quick prayer and she was out the door.
This was good. And after a month or two, Becca settled into school and her new position in the family just fine. And, surprise! I liked our morning routine! My body still cries out in horror when the alarm sounds at 5 AM, but by 5:05 I've pretty much made peace with the day. I'm a realist.
And guys, here an unexpected upside: I'm getting some real mileage out of this lunch-packing and breakfast-making. Becca sincerely appreciates it. It generates a LOT of good will and positive feelings between us. So, those times when I have to say 'no' or 'I don't think that's a great idea,' she seems more willing to accept my 'I just want what's best for you' approach. Maybe I'm imagining this, but I don't think so.
I've hesitated to post this because I don't want the take away to be -- "Run yourself ragged and your teen will appreciate you more." Because that's probably not true. And plus, you probably already are running yourself ragged. The message instead, if I can phrase it properly, is to find what is meaningful to your kid. Becca really likes me to pack her lunch. That makes her day better. Hey! Maybe 'packed lunches' and 'morning send offs' are her love language!
Also, her love language is new clothes, but the morning thing is way cheaper.