We think the current transition of our family is difficult for Ethan not only because there’s a new baby in the house but also because the previous routines Ethan has known have been thrown into a state of chaos (of course, the new baby in the house is a major reason for those lost/changed routines).
When it was just three of us, we worked hard to develop and maintain some routines (in spite of un-routine lives/schedules). While we’re still trying to maintain some of those routines, it must all feel very unfamiliar and chaotic to Ethan. Mealtimes are different. Evening bedtime/devotional times have changed. It’s chaotic and unfamiliar to us, too, but the difference is, we’re able to process it and adapt much quicker than Ethan, who is only two and a half, after all.
One of those key routines was our evening routine. As many nights as possible, the three of us (or two of us, on nights when one of us had a meeting), read Scriptures from a children’s Bible, prayed while Ethan drank his bedtime milk, brushed Ethan’s teeth, and said goodnight.
Tonight, after we read Scripture and pressed the button on Ethan’s prayer angel (which prays the traditional bedtime prayer), Ethan grabbed his milk cup, then when he noticed we were not sticking to our normal routine, reminded me to turn off the light (as one of us prays while he drinks his milk).
Then it struck me that he’s been that doing a lot lately, keeping us on routine, especially at night. In fact, that may be what’s behind the question, “Did you preach?” Ethan knows that “preaching” (and everything that goes along with our lives as preachers) is part of our routine and the rhythm of our lives.
So, in many ways, Ethan and Sarah are in similar places, even though it’s a different experience for each of them. They’re both looking for some familiarity as we become a family of four and as we develop new routines.
As continue to work on maintaining some of Ethan’s old routines, we’re also working on developing new routines as Sarah enters the mix!