The focus on meals is informing life in other, small ways. Growing ways. I’m less likely to crave a night out over a night at home, more concerned with the underlying order in my home (always a weak spot for me, usually, if I can’t see it, it doesn’t bother me). I’m more aware of the ways in which a disordered routine negatively affects all of us. Which isn’t to say nights out or visits to and from friends are a problem, done well, and intentionally, they’re not; but I’m learning order and moderation and the ability to put my and my family’s need for a consistent way of life first. It’s a learning process, and one I hope will not be isolating to us or others, but something I’m willing to accept isolation to pursue - because it is essential to our little domestic monastery; and because I know that if I lose my sense of place, the rootedness and ritual of our domestic life, I will lose my ability to offer anything of myself to those I love, family and visitors alike.
We’re working in small ways at keeping that consistency, the rhythm of meals and life, day and night, sleeping and waking. After two weeks of groundlessness and disorder following a long and undirected visit by her grandparents, Petka has found her equilibrium again, napping gladly, sleeping well, confident in her days. I realize, looking back, that I failed her in that visit, left her without the comforts of the rhythms she expects in life. Her life doesn’t need rigid schedule, but it does need reliability, something she can cling to. So we are building something that will last now, something led by her needs, my needs, and my husband’s needs - and our obligations to God and to each other.