I've never been a big one for family rituals, like "On Thanksgiving we always have tacos," or "We always have a big party on the Fourth of July." I enjoy reading about family traditions and find the idea of rituals very soothing, but in real life I get tired of doing things the same way.
But recently I've realized that I really love the few rituals that we do have.
One is making lattes every morning. While Paul eats his bagel and drinks his milk, Ben and I follow very precise steps to make a wonderful "cuppa."
Another family ritual is the prayer we say whenever the three of us sit down together for a good meal at home. Soon after he started school, Paul announced one night that we needed to say "the words" before we ate. Not being religious, we didn't have any "words," but we made some up on the spot. We held hands and said "We are thankful for this food and we are thankful for each other." That short phrase about sums it up, and it's stuck with us.
More recently, we've been having a "family hug" every morning. Ben and I have always hugged each other hello and goodbye, so it was natural that we would hug Paul also. One rushed morning we all just hugged together and enjoyed it so much that we do it every morning now.
And, of course, from the start Ben and I have each read to Paul before bedtime. That's one of the best rituals of all.