but every tuesday night for years, the same two sweet faces sat at the little corner table. holding hands across the silverware, sugar bowls, and bread baskets. robert's great aunt and uncle made it a point, every single week, to stop what they were doing and go there. to be around happy people. to dip some tenders in fresh honey mustard. to just get out of the house. even before i knew robert, i knew blanche and george. him in his gelled, combed hair and she in her ruby lipstick and best dress shirt. they made a point to look dapper, even though it was routine. commonplace. weekly.
because there's beauty in routines. and even more than that, there's comfort. knowing, without question, that today's events will follow the foolproof pattern of yesterday. however, being a slave to routine is different. if the possibility for beneficial change is presented, clinging too tightly to tradition will turn days into quicksand. the idea--the ultimate goal--is to be flexible without breaking. to hold to what's familiar, with one eye on what's unforseen, new and even a bit scary.
but boy, do i love my routines.
like every tuesday and thursday. on these nights, i join hands with the six people i love and cherish most in the entire world. over my nanno's formica table, we break bread, watch wheel of fortune, and talk about our afternoons. we use paper plates and throw-away cups. i feel the heat pour in through the floor vents. we keep up with who's a return champion on jeopardy(tom has been on for almost three weeks!) and it's beautiful.
my sweet sister and brother
i believe those daily routines, those little eccentric rituals that encompass our hours, are central to our being. they root us, ground us and sustain us. and they're not boring, and partaking in them does not make us sticks in the mud. humans are creatures of comfort. like any good thing, too much will ruin you. but just the right amount? why, i believe we could live on it alone.
that's why my morning are like clockwork. each involves a hot cup of coffee, slippers on my feet, curlers in my hair and my husband's wave and air kiss out the front door as i drive away. i wake before robert and pablo, and return to the dark bedroom gingerly, the sweet smell of sleep permeating the air. i always pick up pablo in my arms and carry him to the guest bed, where, every morning for past two years, we have engaged in belly rubs. every single morning. and just as my morning would be totally off without it, i'd like to think his would be also.
so i'll keep doing it.
keep waking at the same sunrise hour. keep arranging my schedule to have tuesday and thursday nights free to eat with my family. keep giving the best belly rubs ever. keep meeting robert's smile in my rearview mirror before work. because those routines are healthy, lovely and intensely special to me. i'm open to change, and willing to alter my ways, but right now, this isn't quicksand.
it's the only truly solid ground i've got.