Balancing Planning With Spontaneity

Life with Michael has to be planned in many ways. Like all of us, Exceptional Children need routine and structure, but it is usually more so. This decreases some of the anxiety around the unknown and what is happening. It helps, but then it is not a perfect system. There are still ups and downs to navigate with him.

Then there are the  times when unexpected things happen and we have to adjust to them. Yesterday morning, our family woke up to some water in our basement. It was totally unexpected, and the whole morning had to be altered. This was challenging for Michael at first, though he took it in stride that we couldn’t go to church and that his visit to his favorite local mall had to be postponed until later in the morning. The result was that he and I had a fun walk and  later car ride to the center before I went to work, while his Dad and grandfather found a hole in the outside foundation which had caused the leak in the basement. The leak was fixed and the water cleaned up, and Michael and I had some extra time together in the morning alone.  In the end, it worked out on all fronts.

As an Exceptional Family, we are trying in general to be more spontaneous in what we do with Michael. I have introduced a little bit of “let’s see what we will feel like doing” when we look ahead to our day. Sometimes it works well, other times less so, but at least we are exposing him to it. It’s a start. Michael is gradually showing and talking more about what really worries him, what he has trouble with, and his father and I are trying to find creative ways to help him with this. As usual too, he is showing me where I need to plan more in my life, and where I can afford to be more spontaneous and let the winds carry me. I’m sure it won’t come as a surprise that I am not a very spontaneous person, and that my agenda pretty much rules my life. 🙂 Michael is showing me how to learn to relax more, and to stop and smell the roses.

Exceptional Moms, how do you balance planning and spontaneous moments with your children? How do you navigate that sometimes slippery slope? If it’s through trial and error like me, don’t worry about it. The important thing is that you are showing your child that life does not always unfold as expected, and that their world does not have to come apart when it does. With time, you and they will learn how to go with the flow, and maybe even have a few adventures along the way. Until next time.

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