Creative Ways To Reconnect

Before I get into the topic of this post, you’re probably wondering how the big, scary transition is going so far. If I had to describe my first week of work in one word, it would be unexpected. First, it was unexpected that my son would wake up with a fever on the last day of summer (he has been rarely sick in his 2 years, and never with a fever this high) and we wouldn’t be able to send him to daycare. We ended up having to call in grandparents to help with his care for a few days until Nick and I could take time off later in the week. (Thank God for grandparents.) In relation, it was also unexpected that all the progress Edwin made transitioning to daycare in August will probably come to nothing, as he’s been out so long that we’ll be starting at zero when he returns. (Sigh.)

It was also unexpected that I would walk into work feeling like I’d never left. Sure, some things have changed, but the feeling of being in school is as familiar as home. It was nice to see my friends and talk to other adults about big-picture ideas and the details of implementing them- the kinds of discussions I have mostly had by myself, or on this blog, for the past two years. It felt good to work uninterrupted, at least until students arrive. In many ways, my schedule is better than it once was, and I appreciate that. And I’m surprised at how well I prepared myself before I even left, by making lists and organizing my beginning-of-year files. I keep giving my September 2011 self a mental high-five.So, while the unexpected keeps happening (we also have had issues with the air conditioner, a closet bar breaking, and a cleaning service falling through) we are doing… fine.
Which is also, I admit, unexpected.

As things get more hectic, one of my worries is making sure my family reconnects at the end of the work/school day. We no longer have as much time together as we want, so the quality of that time is extra important. I think I’ve come up with some creative solutions.

Nick and I are using our usual ways to reconnect: spending time on the couch in the evening, watching comedy shows and sometimes eating frozen yogurt. But we’re also doing something small that makes me feel connected to him while we’re apart during the day. We ordered a bunch of new K-cups recently, variety packs of dark roast coffees. Most types have two cups in each box, so we’re trying to drink the same variety and share our opinions. We’re keeping track on the blackboard in our kitchen (the one I took from my grandmother’s house back in June). Does anyone else do something similar, such as reading the same book or sharing a cologne with a spouse?

With Edwin, I’m continuing our habit of going for walks on the rail trail after work, something we both enjoy. I’m also starting something new, now that he’s two years old and finally seems ready for some arts and crafts time. I made up a bin of art supplies, plus an old tablecloth for a drop cloth, and put it in a cabinet in our living room so we can do a 20 minute art project most nights. I’m keeping it simple, because he’s still so little: making cards, doing prints with leaves or apples, making ornaments in December. I’m not naturally creative with craft projects, so I’m getting ideas from Pinterest. I like the idea of having a specific activity to do with him at the end of the day, and when he gets older, it’ll be a good time talk about what he did at daycare or preschool. I always find it easier to access my thoughts when I’m doing something creative; maybe Edwin will be the same way.

What creative ways do you use to reconnect with your family? Maybe you’re doing something creative without even thinking about it!

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