Saturday, November 18, 2006

spiders and moon

I always wondered what rituals I'd create with my own family - as rituals and magic and fun were somewhat lost on me as a girl. I knew I wanted to create something different in my own family, to make life as magical for M as possible.

I can't claim we have an ocean of creativity and wonder freefalling all around us, but we do have this:

Every night before bed, M and J-Dog go outside and sit on our porch. It's their time, and I choose not to invade it but every so often I hear lifts and lilts of their voices. This is something M looks forward to every night. Just as it's getting late she starts asking for spiders and moon and off they go into the dark majesty of the evening.

Last night I asked what it was they spoke of. J said they talk about sounds and bugs and cats and spiders and the moon and cars and sirens. And how she sits still in his lap and holds his hands in hers. And then we realized we'd created a ritual - one where over the years the talk will expand to feelings and friends and boys or girls and love and life and politics and travel....and that they'll always have that time together and she'll have that to look forward to, every single night. Her time with her father, where anything is open for discussion. In fact, they are outside again tonight as I type this post; M with her blanket and chatter and J-Dog with his parka and heart of gold.

And how very blessed that makes us, safe and warm and loving, in our own corner of darkness and light.

24 comments:

Penny said...

Wow. It's pretty hard to make me cry, so congratulations on that.

And, on having a great J-Dog and wonderful little M!

Penny hearts Jen et al..

Anonymous said...

That is wonderful. I have pretty fond memories of some rituals my dad came up with too...J-Dog sounds like a super-cool dude. You are a lucky dog, Ms. Jen!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful way to create memories for M! It is something she will carry for a lifetime, long after she's grown up and moved away, starting her own life. She will then pass it along to her children.

It just doesn't get much better than that. :)


Peace,

Chani

Anonymous said...

Wow. That's gorgeous. It's neat how these rituals just kind of come upon you as a family. I think those are the best kind of rituals, not the ones you try to force...

daufiero said...

Beautiful. Lucky.

My husband makes pancakes on Sunday morning. At first, I was grumpy about it because they're not nutritious (OK, I don't really like pancakes and I miss going OUT for Sunday breakfast), but soon I realized that it was a ritual, and now, I too look forward to it.

s@bd said...

beautiful.

(obviously, you don't live in Canada)

meno said...

How great that you get to stay inside and listen to the sounds of the murmuring and laughing. I still remember skipping alog next to my dad on "star walks" while he told tales of greek gods and constellations and held my hand. A forever gift.

KC said...

What a lovely ritual for J-dog and M. And the thought of you, there, loving from inside and giving them time to grow is equally magical.

Our ritual appears to be a pre-nightly bath endzone football touchdown spaz dance involving Joles holding maracas. And me doing the Running Man and The Charleston and The Twist. And JP watching with amazement and a wee bit of horror. It's not pretty. But, it's ours.

Anonymous said...

I love that...
Our fave is that everytime there is a bright moon we all go outside to say hello...

So now there is much hysteria when the moon is spotted..anywhere, driving home, whatever and is greeted with loud 'HELLOOOO MOOON' or 'HELLOOOO LUNA'

But they are not afraid of the night anyway.

Penny said...

You know what else is great about this story?

Girls grow up emulating their mothers and seeking men like their fathers ~ they learn all about human relations, spousal relations and interaction in the first five years of their life, by watching their parents interract with each other, themselves and others.

M will grow up with the sense that this is the way things should be and that it is important to have a man that loves her, supports her emotionally and that gives his all to her children.

It is a beautiful tradition that, as traditions do, should carry on into her future for the benefit of herself, her mate and her children.

Good Job growing your person!

Anonymous said...

Those are the precious things aren't they? And it's surprising how the little things mean so much. D is much in love with the coffee and cookie Wednesday run...as much as I am with the Italian eye candy behind the counter. Everyone wins.

btw, D and I love to look at the moon, too. Down south we have the pleasure of trying to figure out what the flying things are: birds, bats, or mosquitoes!

Deezee said...

This is too beautiful for words.

For a father and daughter to build a treasury of such experiences, simply magical. Not many get to have such rich dialogues.

That's one fine man you have lurking on your porch and you're one fine woman to step back and facilitate those intimate exchanges.

Anonymous said...

This is so beautiful. What an amazing gift, to have the two of them being together, really together, every night on the porch.

(My husband makes pancakes every Sunday morning too.)

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous. Simply beautiful and lovely. What a wonderful ritual - completely magical. My heart smiled and my eyes welled up with tears when reading this.

acumamakiki said...

I loved this story, especially picturing M sitting on J-Dog and their ritual. I know that watching M with A, is the one thing that can warm my cranky-assed heart when he's being a ick-de.

I crave rituals because we lacked them too ~ which must be why I save everything, wanting mementos and photos to capture and memorialize.

metro mama said...

Lovely.

Anonymous said...

Lovely. Simply lovely. My husband is a director (theatre) which means that he works 6 evenings a week. Evenings are my time with Miss M. We always roll on the bed and play 5 little monkeys before tubby time. We also jump in puddles after every rain.

My husand takes the morning shift-from 9-12 before the sitter comes. What they get up to, I'll never know but I am thrilled they have their own block of time completely apart from me.

Anonymous said...

Lovely, too lovely.

And gives me a lot to think about.

flutter said...

This made me cry like none other. What an extraordinary family you have, that you've created.

Momish said...

I can barely type this comment, as I can't see through the tears!

mothergoosemouse said...

How fantastic that you've set the stage for years of conversations to come, as well as established a wonderful ritual.

And I really like the idea of an everyday ritual - it's special and yet familiar and comforting.

Anonymous said...

I have a similar ritual with my son... and I'm drafting a post on it right now (taking my time to get the right words). What a beautiful ritual you have for your daughter.

Wystful1 said...

This is just such a beautiful entry in your blog!! The family -- personally, I think there is nothing better in this life!!

(I've not visited here before, and I found you through a link from a comment you left in someone's blog)---I'm glad I stopped by.

Lisa said...

That is a wonderful story. What wonderful memories your husband is creating for himself and little M.