I have always been a creature of habit. Every single morning of every day of my adult life goes the exact same way, and if by chance my morning routine is thrown off for some reason, the world as I know it comes to a screeching halt. Same goes for all of my holidays, all of my birthdays, and all of my shopping trips. Every single Christmas (which is ALWAYS spent at Grandma’s house), I play the SAME Christmas CD at the same time; right after we’ve all opened our gifts and sleep has begun to take over. If by chance one day my grandfather decided to move that CD I think I would be spending Christmas in the emergency room because my head would spontaneously combust from the shock of interrupting my routine.
So of course, when my husband came home from work one day and told me that not only would we be getting custody of his 10 year old, but that he would be arriving in exactly one week, I automatically flipped my lid. No time to prepare, no time to decorate a room for him, no time to develop a new routine. And three years later when I learned that we would be getting custody of his 8 year old, I flipped out once again. No sooner than I get Demon #1 all settled in and set on his routine does Demon #2 arrive on my doorstep. How in the world would I manage this, and how long would it take to get him used to a new routine when he was accustomed to such a completely different lifestyle? Life as I knew it was turned completely upside down.
My husband, on the other hand, lives for spontaneity. He could care less about what time he woke up, what he had for breakfast, and what type of clothes he was going to wear. I guess after spending your entire life in a military setting, change and disorder is sometimes a welcome state of mind. Luckily for me, my kids and I have the most incredible bond that I’ve ever seen between a stepparent and their child. It’s almost as though we’ve been together our entire lives. It is because of this that I’m reminded that some things are just destined to happen whether we’re aware of the circumstance or not. You see, I can’t help but know in my heart that God made those kids for me. He knew that we would be a part of each other’s lives in some capacity at some point in time. And according to my Mother-in-law, she always knew too.
These days my routine no longer belongs to me. I wake up when I don’t want to, and not always by a traditional alarm clock-most often it’s by the sound of feet stomping up and down the stairs or cabinets slamming as cereal is being poured and jokes are being told. “Quiet time” is mocked by uncontrollable giggles and remnants of candy and treats that were snuck into the house. The laundry that I have diligently fluffed and folded is usually disheveled and in complete disarray, and my precious Range Rover is ALWAYS dirty on the inside. But alas I’ve come to realize that there are more important things in life than routine and order. And sometimes sacrificing a few minutes of comfort is worth seeing the smile on your child’s face. Sometimes knowing that you’ve just given your child a memory and a feeling of comfort erases all of the discomfort of not being able to enjoy your coffee in peace.
My boys have had to endure quite a bit of transition in their lives. And seeing how they deal with that, and how their loves have changed really makes me take a good look at my own life and reevaluate everything I’ve ever felt and everything I do. Seeing their approach to life just really puts everything into perspective. I learned a very big lesson four years ago-that life is not always how YOU plan it out. Sometimes life is planned for you, but that’s not always a bad thing. Sometimes in the midst of the chaos and confusion comes a new appreciation for your ever-changing environment. Looks like unpredictability is my new best friend.