My cup of tea
I recently discovered that Pudding has developed a new ritual of talking me through her day as I put her to bed. She instructs me to get in bed for a cuddle, and then she talks. And talks. Sometimes she sings. She shares. I love it. We aren’t yet at the point where she is really talking about her day, but she tells me what happened. I’m going to introduce talking about my day, the parts I liked and didn’t, and my feelings about it. We’ll see if she is ready to do the same.
The word “ritual” can have negative connotations, but that isn’t always the case. Some rituals can offer comfort, create a routine, and mark transitions throughout the day.
In the comments from my post the other day, Courtney referred to her ritual as the glass of wine when she returns from work. Once her ritual takes place, she relaxes and can chat about the day. Pudding’s metaphorical glass of wine is to bounce on her trampoline, or swing. Getting that sensory input is important for her to transition from a day at school. I never realized how necessary this was until I interrupted it. I think, though I could well be wrong, that this bedtime chat is another way she transitions. Instead of getting out her excess energy, she is getting out her excess words, or thoughts. Maybe one day she’ll release her feelings, and feel more peaceful for sleep.
My ritual is in a morning. I am less human, and more cranky swamp creature in the morning. My husband dutifully brings me a cup of tea, and that is my transition from slumber to reality. I punctuate the day with a cup of tea: the morning one, the breakfast one, the evening one. I know, English ex-pat drinking tea is too much of a cliche to dwell on. I can manage fine without the others, but that morning one is essential. I just feel “off” all day without it. It isn’t a caffeine issue; I’ve been drinking decaf for over a decade. It has nothing to do with the children; that morning cup has been part of my ritual since I was a child. There is comfort in beginning my day the same way. I’ll carry on as long as I continue not to be a morning person. Just because I regularly wake at 5 these days, it doesn’t follow that I’m any better at it. My husband will vouch for that!
So just as rituals are important to the rest of us, so they are to Pudding too. Probably more so, as she starts to learn what her body needs to take away the many stresses of the day. I just hadn’t realized that she had them until I disturbed them, this discovery was a happy accident for me. Now that I know, I’ll do my best to ensure I don’t pour away her metaphorical glass of wine, or cup of tea. I think we all need a little comfort in our day.
How about you? Do you or the people you love have a ritual that brings comfort? What is your cup of tea?