What is the biggest surprise you ever experienced?  Was the surprise good or bad?  How did you react? The bad ones are often labeled as shocks.   I had a blast planning a surprise birthday party for my dad’s 50th birthday and then again 21 years later for my sister’s 50th birthday.  She should have known, since we planned my dad’s party together.  My husband, children, and grandchildren totally surprised me with a retirement party when my thirty years of homeschooling was complete as our youngest son graduated from high school.  It was incredibly wonderful.


The grandkids swarm me as I enter my  surprise retirement party

Some people love all kinds of surprises. I enjoy being on the planning end of a surprise.  Some people do not handle surprises well.  They much prefer to know, in advance, if possible, what and when things will occur.  Routine is comforting to them.  The unknown is not.  They ask plenty of questions.   Flexible is not their middle name.  They need security.

Children are people too. Some enjoy routine.  They love Taco Tuesdays, not because they really love to eat tacos every week, but because they like to know what to expect.  Those children are comforted by a printed menu posted in an easily accessible location.  Others enjoy not knowing until they sit down.   I think the indecisive people prefer things just happen without their involvement.

my 5

All my homeschool graduates (our 5 children)

If you have more than one child, then probably one will love routine and one will love variety.   They will continually challenge you, especially ones who are not the same as you.  Do your best to accommodate both and at the same time also challenge them.  Life has lots of routine and variety.  Help the routine child to be accepting of last minute changes.   Changes are okay and only a small interruption which will be manageable.   Help the variety lover to embrace some mundane.  Perhaps tackling the mundane in small doses during their personal best part of the day, is a workable strategy.

Routine or variety can lead to crisis. A school age child is able to creatively brainstorm ways to cope and manage both.  Doing this will develop a valuable life skill for them.   No doubt, whichever style of person they are, their future mate will be the opposite.


school memories compiled by my kids



2 thoughts on “Surprises

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