It’s that time of year again. The back-to-school season brings so many things back into our lives that I mostly didn’t realized we needed or missed during the summer. I am so caught up in the long days of having my children around me and the freedom that those moments bring for all of us, that that sense of routine is so far out of our psyche that we forget we actually thrive on it. I really love waking up leisurely and making breakfast for when they are ready without having to rush anyone into getting dressed, brushing their teeth and inhaling cold cereal while I change diapers and feed the animals in a tornado of chaos.
October is here, and the calendar says that fall is near; the sweat on our brows telling an entirely different story through these Indian Summer afternoons. We’ve filled binders and organized the desks in Jack and Zoe’s rooms so that they’re ready for the onslaught of homework coming their way, but what we really have started doing to immerse ourselves in the school year is embrace and accept the change and structure of routine. We wake and breakfast was planned the night before (half of the battle for me), the kids know that morning cartoons are only for the weekends now, and they emerge from their rooms dressed and ready for the day. Pack-lunches have become a really special way of bringing the fun and closeness of the summer into their afternoon breaks during school, and I have begun this year with fresh new ideas for what and how to pack for them. I actually really enjoy packing their lunches and am enjoying the novelty of the beginning of the year, so I’ve started to incorporate some new, tasty treats as a special way of giving them a little extra fun in their day. Go Organically® Fruit Snacks are really yummy but they’re also organic, GMO free, gluten free, made with real fruit puree and 100% vitamin C to boot-a sweet little pick-me-up.
We are all doing so well with the structure and expectations that come with a well-oiled routine. Even though the kids have started in a new school and are making all new friends in a entirely new environment, they are thriving. I probably have had the hardest time with the transition (kids are so resilient), and I think that packing the familiarity of home and with the added touch of my thought, care and love within the lunches I pack for them is comforting but also a little therapeutic for me. We are still trying to figure out how to get them to eat the lunches during a time when they just want to play, but just knowing that they have a piece of me and home with them is a welcome reprieve from the newness and learning within their social circles and school. I’ve really honed in on set menus that I know are not only easy for them to eat quickly, but they’re nutritious and fun, too. As much as I’d like to think they’re eating their sandwiches, protein and veggies first, I’m pretty sure they beeline for the Go Organically® Fruit Snacks as soon as they open the boxes. The flavors taste good of course, but are also fun to identify-Beau especially points out the flavors and makes sure we all know he loves blackberry the most. Of all the varieties; Fruit Medley, Mixed Berry and Tropical, the last one is all of our favorites and I stash them for little league games, waiting rooms and in my purse for any other “emergency” that might need an added perk.
As much as I miss having their energy around during the day, it is so nice to see them thriving and enjoying learning and the success that comes with a proper schedule and routine within the school week. And, by packing their lunches, I still feel like they have a part of me with them.