Saturday Mom Musings: Importance of ritual

Delicious Vegan Dish of the Day:

IP and I spent most of the day snacking on pita chips and Dad’s homemade hummus.  Yum!

Money Matters:

Today we spent the following:

  • $25.52 for some NYC bagels and tofu cream cheese
  • $13.46 for Jamba Juice.  This is the only place LP wants to go when we go into the “big city.”  I tried offering ice cream at Lulu’s Sweet Apothecary.  He wanted a green smoothie instead.  Sigh.

Mom Musings:

I’ve been thinking about ritual a lot lately.  Some if it is tied to our daily family rituals: Dinner together at 5:30, stories at bedtime, etc.  Some of it is tied to larger, more occasional rituals.  In a span of a three weeks in March we went to a bris (brit?) for our dear friends’ new baby and a funeral for my grandfather.  Both events were a celebration of sorts.  In the case of my grandfather we celebrated his wonderful life and all the love he gave his friends and family, even as we simultaneously mourned.  In the case of the bris we celebrated a new life and new member of a family and community.

I thrive on routine in my life.  I think it is one of the reasons I can function well in a traditional school, with bells, schedules, 25 minute lunches, etc.  I can deal with a lot if I have a routine that I know I can follow.  Routines like working out first thing in the morning, having dinner at the same time every night, prepping for weekly meals on Sunday and taking the kids to music class on Saturday morning.  But the rituals in our life are not really routines.  Sometimes I think they are like “routines plus.”   Rituals provide comfort and build community.  Rituals pull our family together, either our small household one, or our larger communal one, to remind us of the strength of our relationships and our love for each other.  Rituals give us a few moments to re-center ourselves and remind ourselves of our true values.  This was true in March at the bris, where we welcomed a new member of a family while simultaneously honoring the family members who love this new baby and whom he is named after.  This was true at my grandfather’s funeral service when we remembered a truly wonderful and loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather.  And this is true when we cuddle up with LP to read our nighttime story before bed and we focus only on each other for a minute, dishes and blogging be damned.  Eating dinner together is another ritual that brings our family together, reminds us what we love about being home together and gives us all a chance to both listen and be listened to with no distractions.

I worry that our daily rituals can quickly devolve into routines if we don’t bring a mindfulness to them.  As my maternity leave is coming to a close I want to recommit to making our daily rituals spaces that are about comfort, family and being present.  There is plenty to keep my busy in the world.  I just need to keep it from invading this sacred family space.

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