As we move closer to the end of our parental leave (our first Sunday back will be April 20), we are becoming more intentional about preparing Ethan for our transition back to work.
At the top of the list is the Sunday morning routine (the weekday routine will probably get worked out as we go along). For quite a while, we’ve been thinking about the kind of morning that would be best for Ethan, especially since Joleen and I make stops at five different churches between us.
We’ve been asked a number times during the past year what we will do on Sundays. Some have wondered if we would take turns dragging Ethan along on our “circuits.” Truth is, we’ve never seriously considered that, thinking that wouldn’t be good for Ethan. We used to think that wouldn’t give Ethan enough consistency; while that’s still true, now we just think that would be way too tiring — for all of us! 🙂
So, here’s the plan …
Joleen will drop Ethan off at a neighbor’s home, on her way to her first service. Joann and Dick will watch Ethan, then take him to Sunday school and worship at Faith Church, where Joleen will reconnect with Ethan at the end of the morning.
To prepare Ethan for that transition, we’ve taken a couple steps already. Dick and Joann spent part of an evening at our place, giving Ethan an opportunity to get to know them. Then, last night, we spent some time with Joann and Dick at their place to give Ethan a chance to become familiar with the place and the people with whom he will spend much of his Sunday mornings with.
Ethan’s preparation will probably include a few more steps: 1) another visit to Dick and Joann’s, 2) a trial run of dropping Ethan off at their place for a little while, and 3) sitting with Joann and Dick at Faith during our final Sunday off.
Time off on parental leave has gone by quickly (although we still have a couple weeks left). The ultimate purpose of this time off has been transition and adjustment — Ethan’s adjustment to a new culture, a new place, and a new family.
Overall, Ethan’s transition continues to go very well. His transition also includes our going back to work in a few weeks, and we want that part of the transition to be as smooth as possible, as well!