Pinecones and Purpose

This Monday morning started out hopeful and optimistic. I had quite a bit on my to-do list portion of my planner and the week ahead of me to knock it out. Despite a little bit of a sore throat, I was ready to face the week. A week full of purposeful activities planned out ahead of me.

I swung my feet over the side of the bed and my feet touched the floor. All bets were off after that.

Isn’t that how most days go? Or is it just me? I have pie-in-the-sky ideals of how my day with my two littles is going to go, and then I wake up.

So today was no different. We didn’t have any big interruptions to our morning. It was just one of those days where things were not coming together. We sat down to get into our Mother Goose Time lesson plans and my eyes had gravitated to the fun little postcards included in our Daily Discovery Bag. We pulled them out and proceeded to prepare little hellos to the grandmothers.

Peter’s first postcard attempt

Peter’s tree and roots going down deep into the soil.

My oldest getting in on the action

Peter carefully examining the pinecones including in the Discovery Bag for the birdfeeder activity.

However, like I mentioned before, today just wasn’t flowing. Mama was little grumpy and the kiddos wanted to be out in the nature that we were discussing. And so we decided that one activity was good for today. Out went the plan, but we kept the purpose.

This may not seem like a big deal to you. Maybe you are one of those super flexible parents that can just roll with it. If so, that is awesome and continue showing those of us a little less stretchy what to work towards. But for me to choose to throw out the to-do list (not only on my planner, but the one that I walk around with in my head), and to not see the day as a “loss” is a big deal for me. It’s a little sad, as I type it out, how often it’s been all or nothing for me. That I wasn’t open to the interruptions and sidelines, and definitely not open to the lessons that could be learned from them in the moment. Maybe a few days or weeks later, looking back. But definitely not in real time.

But today, we chose purpose over the plan, and I think we chose well. Because while the kiddos normally can sit and craft away most of the morning, and we’re able to go over several of the monthly theme’s daily topics in one sitting, today they just needed to play. They needed to get out into the trees and rocks and zipline at the neighborhood park. They needed to add some experiences to their little minds so that when we sit down tomorrow, they can apply some of what they learned in the park to what we’re discussing at the table.

It goes both ways, the learning. From the desk (or table in our case) to the park, and from the park to the desk.

I could have tried to force the lessons, pressed on at the table, and I’m sure we would have been a cheery bunch by noon. Yes, we would have checked off some lessons and tasks, but what is the benefit if the kids aren’t engaged and tensions are high? I don’t want to sacrifice my relationships and my time with my kids on the altar of production, as if that is the only meaningful thing in life there is. I don’t believe that, but how often have my days reflected that?

I’m slowly gaining the freedom and flexibility to know that sometimes changing the plan is the most purposeful thing I can do. Sometimes realizing that what I thought was a good idea may still be a good idea, but not today. Because today calls for being out in the sun and wind and nature, for cuddles and quick hugs, pushing on the swings and trying to find painted rocks at the park (apparently it’s a popular local thing).

So, maybe we didn’t learn just one little lesson today after all.



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