They have an elaborate bed time ritual. It starts with tea and toast. Sometimes warm milk. They are always starving at night. I pile a plate high with buttery toast and the four of them make it disappear in moments.
A tea pot we found at the swap shop at our transfer station holds their ritual of honey tea. The ones who want warm milk use either a small mason jar or a tiny green butterfly mug and heat their milk to the perfect temperature for them.
Then we move onto their drops. Calm and sleep, 4 drops on each tongue.
Once the little tongues have the sweet drops they hold out their wrists for sweet repose. Sometimes I add another to either calm their nervous systemsor love up their heart center using my intuition on what they are needing.
Then things get a little silly. The first time we rubbed the oils on their wrists one of them told a story about how lemurs rub their wrists together to secrete their scent and mark their territory. So now they become little lemurs as they rub the oils on their wrists.
Each of them then take turns laying down and getting their foot cream, which now is belly button cream and foot cream. A belly rub and foot rub with each head in my lap on a sheep skin rug.
Then bed. Kisses (often lemur kisses). Nightlights and library books. Sleeping bags and giant stuffed bears. I need to pee. Can I have a glass of water? I forgot to tell you something. Did we have dinner?
This is how we create gorgeous secure attachment. This is how ritual guides us and eases them into the transition of wake to sleep.
Usually at bedtime I am exhausted and wanting to punch the time clock. This ritual and time together is something I look forward to all day. It is snuggles, giggles, words of affirmation, sleepy smiles. They are my joy bubbles.
In one of my sessions with one of my magical, beautiful healers, she said that my work now was to learn how to create secure attachment inside of myself. She pointed out how the security and safety and calm and independence that my kids held inside was what I was longing for in my own body.
To trust in me. To know that I will always come back to self. To be the first place I seek when I am lost. To mama myself.
To trust my intuition of which metaphorical oil I need to nurture my nervous system, my heart, my longings. And learn the practices that will get me there.
Leaning into my rituals of morning coffee and prayers. Attaching to my strength and beauty rather than on the expectations of others. Letting my needs be spoken without attachment on someone else fulfilling them.
The second time we were together he brought his tool bucket and fixed a cabinet in my Loft that had fallen off the hinge. He told me later that his hands were shaking so much he wasn't sure he would be able to fix it because all he wanted was to ask if he could kiss me.
Later on the couch when he did ask I climbed on his lap, looked in his eyes, put my arms around his neck and had the most amazing kiss of my life.
Since that kiss our work together has been learning to create the security and safety inside of our love. Creating our tea and toast rituals of trust and love without conditions, because holy shit did we arrive with conditions inside of so much pain and this unsatisfied desire to love.
We are both terrified of this attachment that seems to have been created between us in stardust (my most magical manifesting story) before we ever met. He is my tether to earth as I float in the sky. I am his anchor in the water as his fire burns strong.
I started a ritual of making a pot of stew as I would wait for him to arrive at night under the twinkle lights for our weekends together. We would eat and share stories for hours and then find ourselves naked together in front of the fire, starving for the other's touch and taste and words.
Our attachment created inside of those rituals, the rhythm of time. Stew. Stories. The touch that heals.
After I pick them up from camp they get to organize their afternoon. They decide when they will swim, how much time they will get for tech, what the afternoon snack should be, early dinner or late dinner and if they need a family meeting to talk about anything. And for all the bickering they do, on this they always agree.
The other day I picked them up and told them that we could go to the library for an ice cream social at 6:30 that night. None of them were excited.
"Do you all not want to go?"
"Well, we really like how we do things every day and our systems. We don't actually want to break our routine."
Tea and toast. Toast and tea.
Children coming together from two families now creating another branch of family together. Attaching. Finding safety. Their own little tribe of ritual and connection.
He arrives tonight. My bleed started yesterday and I am feeling tender and raw. I have the ingredients for stew. I feel like that woman shaking in the Loft with the anticipation of a first kiss that would feel like forever.
We'll have two nights together before the kids arrive.
Stew. Stories. Naked touch time.
And then we'll ready for the chaos and noise of the little ones who keep time in our hearts.
The beds are made. The tea pot is ready. The attachment strong.