Thursday, 21 July 2011

worry butterflies

My daughter is a worry wart. A regular chip off the old block. Not something I'm proud to pass on - something I'd still love to work on myself.

There is usually some worry on the horizon. Her latest worry? Bringing a lunch to school. She was in a 1/2 day Junior Kindergarten program last year. This year, she will go to a different school AND it will be a full day, every other day program. So she has to bring a lunch. She's met the teacher, knows 2 girls in her class, and her sister will be outside at recess time. But still, the worries are HUGE. And her first day of school is 49 days away.

I have declared that we will not worry all of these next 49 days away. Summer is for fun, not worrying. So I've told her that for each of those 49 days that she does not whine and complain about school things, I'll make a little checkmark on the calendar. For each checkmark, there will be a lunch together (not the most convenient for me, but I can manage it). So, if there are 20 non-whiny days, she will get 20 days when I will eat lunch with her. That seemed to click with her, but we'll see what tomorrow brings.

Bedtime seems to be one of the worst worrying times. We talk about having butterflies in our stomachs, so we thought of the idea of "worry butterflies" (like Guatemalan worry dolls) - butterflies that can decorate her bed and fly away with the worries so that sleep can come more easily. We'll see.

But we'll try to take it one day at a time, enjoying the gifts of today and trying not to stress over what might come. Today we are not bringing a lunch to school. Or tomorrow. Or the next day.

And instead of worrying: pray. Pray with thanksgiving. For today and its many, many gifts.

Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 4:7-8


  1. Ah - full day lunch at school. Alice was sooo worried about that too. She is still worried about recess time - she loves the school part, but stresses about recess (quite opposite of Jonah!!) She seems to feel comfort at the moment, when we talk about the fact that God is with her, and she can just give her worries to God, and then try to forget them.
    Also - it's about the cute containers for Alice. We picked out several tiny little containers at the dollar store before school last year, so that she can put tiny food in each one. We also got a new lunchbox that she liked.
    I like your idea of a reward of eating lunch with you. You have a special bond together to cherish.

  2. I love the worry butterflies! How pretty :-)

  3. Hi Rebecca! This post makes me think of a book that one of my clients raves about for kids: Wembley Worried. I haven't read it, but thought it might be a good one for my sweet niece...
    And now, what good book for us adults who worry about tomorrow?

  4. Love the cute container idea, Rachel, with tiny foods. Good to know Eden's not the only worrier in her class! Maybe they can support each other :)

    Hopefully they do the trick, Mara!

    Melissa: we've got the Wemberly Worried book, and I have parts of it memorized. That's how many times we've read it. Here it is: "You worry too much," said her mother. "When you worry, I worry," said her father. "Worry, worry, worry," said her grandmother. "Too much worry."

  5. When I try not to think about something, then I think more about it! But that's just me. I wonder about trying to think about something differently; think about all the amazing things that might happen at lunch time. Let your imagination run wild... What about drawing pictures of amazing things that might happen at lunchtime...what if a cat came into school one lunch time? what if a butterfly floated in the window? what if your teacher forgot her lunch and you decided to share with her? what if somebody started singing while they were eating lunch? would you sing along? what if you got to school and found out you'd taken your dad's lunch instead of your own? what if everyone had an orange in their lunch one day, would you start to play catch? what if... lots of fun things happened?

  6. You're right, Carol. If someone said, "Don't think about pink elephants!" what would be in your mind? I love these ideas of imagining crazy things. Perfect for a 5 year old's imagination! Thanks.