Today our boys are starting their second week of school. And today I'm posting their first day of school pictures. You might be thinking, "he's a week behind in life." Up until yesterday that would have been a fair assumption. But sitting in church yesterday morning, listening to Pastor Chad warn us against falling into the ever tempting "routines" of life, I started thinking of these pictures a little differently, and in turn, this post.
Toward the end of the summer I heard a lot of parents - this parent and my wife included - start talking about getting back to the "school routine." I know that routine looks different for all parents, but for us it means slowing down the often spontaneous and dizzying pace of summer, and settling into the more predictable and structured flow of the school calendar.
That's not a bad thing. Kids love structure - and probably some education. Parents need time to recover from their bouts with dizziness. But routine has power. A suction of sorts. It can draw us in and carry us along and the next thing we know we're posting last day of school pictures and wondering where the year went. Routine loves to convince us there are no new challenges today, no potential firsts to celebrate, no need to anticipate the unexpected.
Routine loathes the unexpected.
That was the excitement last week, wasn't it? Isn't that what we captured in those first day of school pictures. Kids headed off to meet new teachers, new friends, new buildings, new subjects, new etc. etc. etc. It was charging the unexpected head on. Dreaming of what the new year holds and imagining all we might do to shape it.
So today, I post our boys' first day of school pictures. Not because I'm late, (thanks Chad), but as a reminder that this is a new day and a start to a new week. It comes with all the hope and possibilities that came with the first day of school last week, no matter what Routine tries to tell me. It's easy to forget to set our kids up for the possibility this day holds. The chance they may encounter something magical. That they might be the magic. And celebrate the day's end as if they were.
So here's to all kids and their parents starting their second week of school. Or third or fourth. Routine wants us to believe it's just another week.
Let's not fall for it.