One of our family rituals was to sing "thanks a lot" before the kids went to sleep. As I became increasingly ill, the kids came and sat on my bed to sing it and sometimes I would fall asleep before their bedtime and they would sing it with Scott.
Thanks a lot, is based on Raffi's song, but we'd make up our own lyrics about what we were thankful for that day. On our journey to finding a home, that ritual all but disappeared. But tonight, we started again and it was beautiful. There was no hesitation anymore, the kids gratitude slipped easily from their lips with huge smiles on their faces. Hugs were had while we sang it.
We have daily love rituals; snuggles in my bed in the morning, making dinner together, reading a chapter of a book at night, playing a game and now reintroducing "thanks a lot". Part of recieveing love is learning how to give it again. Though I loved my children during this entire process, it felt like we were just getting by for a while. I often felt like all my energy was used up teaching, feeding and cleaning up after them. The extras, they were just a bonus if I could fit them in. Now I see how necessary they are, these bonding moments that help to give you that boost, the boost that makes lice laundry not seem so daunting. The bonding that allows you to respond with more compassion rather than reacting with frustration when they are not listening.
Here's to love rituals and the sense of warmth they provide.