I've been working through The Family Dinner this week (about two sentences at a time, in between recitations of Pete). In the first chapter, the author talks about making family rituals, and how--to that end--her family and another family started doing a "Taco Tuesday". I thought, "Hm, that sounds like fun, maybe we should come up with a family 'thing' like that."
I remember a lot of similar little rituals from my childhood. For example, my grandmother would always forget to put napkins on the table--she and my grandfather didn't use them when there weren't messy grandkids around--and when one of us would notice we'd exchange looks and shout out in unison, "For-get-ful Car-ver!" It eventually got to where, even when she did remember the napkins, we'd conduct covert operations to steal them just so we could keep going with our game. Silly? Yes. Fun? Absolutely! I think we were all every day of twenty-five before we stopped stealing poor Grandma's napkins.
But, you know what? Once I started paying attention, I realized that--without even being intentional about it--we've already begun coming up with some of our own family "things".
Like, on Fridays nights we often have a "Grown-Up Happy Meal" to celebrate the start of the weekend. (Cheese and crackers and salami and fruit and pickles--"happy" because it's all food we love and it's pretty and it doesn't make any dishes!) It wasn't ever something we sat down serious-like and said, "This shall be our ritual from this day on." It just developed naturally, until we've gotten to a point where I feel like something's been left out when we miss it.
Another thing that's very quickly becoming a "thing" are the Wednesday night city band concerts that our town holds throughout the summer. The first one was just, "Eh, we might as well go." But this week was the fourth one, and I was already looking forward to it on Monday morning.
We hum to the music and clap along as sunset turns to twilight turns to dark. And then we change the Kid into his dry pj's and head for home. Without even intending it, we've made a new family "thing" that I hope sticks with us for many summers to come. (He's not sleeping in that last picture though. He was only pretending, because apparently it's a hilarious joke with the 1 1/2 year old set to pretend to sleep. Two seconds later he was up in the fountain again...*sigh*.)
[P.S. The winner of the $25 gift certificate to Garden Laundry is Natalie! Lucky, lucky girl--I am in love with some of that fabric you will get to choose from! I will be emailing you shortly for you for your contact info to get you your prize.]