I have rules and routines and procedures for everything. You know this. My daughter does too- so much so that is what she wrote her common app essay about. We thrive on having lists and often do things rote. It works for us.
One of the oldest rules we have is my meal rule. When my daughter was in pre school, the year when the stream of activity begins, I made a rule. Unless someone was out of town, we had to eat three family meals. It could be breakfast, lunch or dinner, but the three of us had to be around the table together three times per calendar week.
Last week, for the first time in thirteen years, we were not able to do this.
When I was doing my Sunday prep work a few weeks ago, I looked at my calendar, looked at everyone’s commitments and shook my head. Work outings, college meetings, prior engagements, busy lives, equaled the three of us barely being at home at the same time.
And it made me think of the future.
This rule has gotten us through my daughters formative years. It has helped us as a family – because we were able to check in with one another- we knew when something was troubling us, we knew what was going on in one another’s lives. Spending facetime, no phones or electronics, does really help communication. And we all know communication leads to relationship success, or increases your chance of success anyway.
But I have now faced the harsh reality. Our days of family meals are almost over. My days with my daughter living down the hall is almost over. There will be new rules and procedures put in place (you know I will have some sort of weekly phone call plan) but my life is about to change.
Ready or not, here it comes. Glad I have seven months to prepare.