Friday, October 29, 2010

From the Mouths of Babes

From Duncan about our upcoming visit from Paul: "After he's gone can we start messing up the house again?"

Thursday, October 14, 2010


I have read a lot about the importance of building rituals into the lives of children, and of course I give it a lot of thought in my down time and think about how we might do it in our house, but I never act on any of my thoughts.

A few weeks ago, Duncan asked me what was for dinner, and I answered "Grilled cheese and soup."  "YES!" he exclaimed.  I asked him why grilled cheese and soup were so exciting. We all have our favorite meals, but no one had ever discussed this one. "That means tomorrow is pizza day, and then it's the weekend."

Several years ago, probably before Duncan was born, we used to have grilled cheese and soup on Thursdays because I had a meeting and got home late from work. It was a meal we could throw on the table quickly and not have to think much about. I resurrected it recently as a staple; even though I don't currently have any late meetings, we're all pretty wiped out by Thursday, and this meal fits the bill. I didn't really think much about it. I felt like it was a cop out to put it on the menu each week, actually, but it was working. Now, when I put grilled cheese on the menu, I realize it has become an important ritual for all of us that helps bridge the time between Wednesday and the weekend, and helps Duncan process the path of days through the week. Without any of us thinking it, grilled cheese became a ritual.

And so I head off home to heat up the carrot soup (that he still doesn't know has carrots in it - "I don't LIKE cooked carrots!", toast some cheese, and ponder the wisdom of my 4 year old.