I was going through some of my photos on Facebook the other day when it dawned on me how utterly and completely we are a family of habit, of repetition and ritual. In nearly every photo Max is wearing the same shirt. (The casual observer might assume that the poor child has only one.) But that's his favorite shirt, the one he always wears on weekends which is when I most often pull out my camera. Another point driven home by those photos is that we do the same things over and over. We sit on the porch. We go for walks. As a family, we hang out in very predictable ways.
Frank and I have always been creatures of habit. We took flack early in our marriage from friends who were mystified at our desire to stay in on Saturday nights because we grilled on Saturdays and listened to the radio and danced around the kitchen. This tradition is ongoing, Saturday is still a night for grilling and music in our little family.
Our rituals lend a distinct shape to our days and weeks. I can count on one hand the number of nights in the past year that we did not sit down to dinner together. It is something we all value and it brings our hours spent apart to a familiar close. We each share a high and low from our day, sometimes we share a freaky moment or a musical moment instead. No matter how crazy or out of whack our individual days might get, we can count on coming back to the table and telling our stories every night.
Just like we rely on those weekend walks in that same tie-dyed t-shirt and our Saturday dinners and playlists. These are the rituals that mean family to us. It is the way we remember who we are.