It’s about the shoes, not the box

I’m blessed to work with incredibly smart people – led by Bec (my sometimes-astrophysicist, always-incredible, Abbie-parenting, Trek-loving, tea-sipping, event-managing, outcome-driven, voice-of-reason-speaking Number One.)

She changed my perspective on something recently.

It was exactly what I needed to hear at the time – and maybe it’s what you need to hear too.

Abbie struggles to fit into the neat little box she’s meant to.

That box is labeled with things like “put your school shoes in one place so you know where they are”, “remember everything”, “put shoes on before you leave the house” and all these other seemingly obvious things kids are supposed to remember to do.

I could throw my hands in the air and yell “why can’t you just put your shoes in one place?!”.

Or roll my eyes and be all “it’s really not that hard to remember on Wednesday you have sports and have to wear your runners”.

Or. I could not be an asshole. 

I could just accept that, like almost everyone, she doesn’t fit the neat little box.

That’s why I’ve helped her re-organise her room so there are less things in it, and put some of her shoes in one spot so she has a visual reminder, that’s where the shoes on your feet go. 

And why she now has a small planner that fits into her school bag to write down what classes she has for the day: what appointments she has, what music lessons she has, and when she needs to bring her runners or music folder to school in that (along with a note from her mum telling her she’s awesome).

As I write this, she’s asleep and her shoes are neatly lined up at the foot of her bed. She remembered her runners yesterday for sport, that she had a music lesson today, and knows to come straight to the gate tomorrow because we have a 3:30pm doctors appointment. And it’s all happened without me having to say a single word about any of it, much less make her feel like bad for being different in ways that are largely out of her control, ultimately not a big deal anyway, and only seem like an issue because the whole world is obsessed with those neat little boxes to fit into.

Screw the box.

Just re-organise the room so you can see the shoes.