Updated: Sep 23, 2022
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.
Joshua 1:9 (NIV)
How do we cope with change? Our family has encountered a few changes this month. For one, we no longer have both children in full-time childcare. Isaac has graduated to KINDERGARTEN.
All summer long, he has been excited about the prospect of going to school. He started begging to go THERE instead of to daycare. A few times, I was late for work because instead of going to daycare, Isaac insisted on going to the Pet Store or the Amusement Park, or the Zoo, or School. It became a chore getting him into the car, and even getting him out proved difficult at times. Isaac knew a season was coming to an end, and he was actively looking forward to the change.
The week before school started, we had a meeting with a teacher for an evaluation. I had the task of taking Isaac back to daycare for the rest of the day so that I could finish work. The previous time I took him out of daycare was for his second Covid shot, and he was so determined not to go back, that I couldn’t pry him out from between 2 car seats. So instead, I buckled him back in, and took him to work for the last hour of the day. With that in mind, this time, I bribed him with a milkshake to get his cooperation! No really, we’re glad he’s not at all afraid of the big change of going to school.
However, Isaac does seem to be a little afraid of soccer. He had asked for over a year now to play soccer. So this summer, we finally got around to signing him up for some light-hearted, no score-keeping junior soccer. He was so thrilled!
But when the first game day came along, he refused to go. We were so frustrated, we told him we were going to pull him out and he wouldn’t get to play. In the moment, he was OK with that.
Isaac might not have been in the mood for that first game, but our reaction to him was a bit of overkill. We may have forgotten that soccer is a new thing for him, and when things are changing, we should be prepared for anything to happen. We are reminded in 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 to “keep your eyes open, hold tight to your convictions, give it all you’ve got, be resolute, and love without stopping.” (The Message)
Our ultimatum to Isaac didn’t send a good message, and we didn’t actually follow through on it. What we should have done, and are trying to do since then, is encourage him. We remind him that he signed up for this and is excited about it. And we tell him that it’s OK not to play, but that he should stay for the match and cheer for his new friends, because he’s part of the team, and they really want him there too. That’s what we did the next week, and he played for ¾ of a game!
We hope to do better in the next few weeks as we encourage this child experiencing big changes. There are probably going to be a few more moments of utter shock for Daniel and me, when Isaac randomly decides to back out of things. We’ll need a combination of wisdom, discernment, and understanding about how to react when this happens, because so far, we’re not doing that stellar of a job. We’re going to have to remember to build up Isaac, and encourage him to stick to his commitments in a positive way. If it’s really not for him, we can navigate that together, with how to get him out of things.
We’ve been both excited and discouraged about the way Isaac is handling his changes. At times, he says he misses some of his friends from daycare, but then again, he doesn’t want to go back there, and we are using daycare for him on days that there is no school. (Please keep us in prayer for October 6th!)
There’s no going back to old ways, and our household has been full of change this year, with Daniel taking a new job, Nicole changing departments, and then Isaac going to elementary school. Thea is changing enough as a two-year old, but we do feel that potty training might be around the corner for her!
We all should seek to be strong and courageous as we enter new chapters in life.
Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord. Psalm 31: 24 (NASB)