I managed to implement our September rhythm. Once chosen it is simple and repeated daily. I can only do this so quickly because I have been doing it for years and I have all my verses, decorations etc organized in folders, drawers and colorful flowered boxes. As I mentioned I have the cardboard suitcases for Autumn, Winter, Spring & Summer. They are filled with things I have made, or friends have made, or the children have made at home or school & that suit the season. Also decorative items that have been collected, winter fairies, bells, just stuff. It doesn’t take much, a seashell, an especially curly beach stick, a pine cone, a birds next. Go with your own style, your own ideas.
I keep a presentation book for each season for verses, poems, stories, drawings. I keep another with waking, bedtime and birthday verses. And I add anything written that speaks to me as I go. I try to include poems the children like or have written themselves at school. My sources are everywhere and though I initially hunted for things, once I had a beginning I just added literature (?) as it showed itself to me in my life. I was thrilled to find a stack of cue cards with poems and verses my mother had written for her days as primary school teacher, so I added those that I liked. I typed up singe verses from poems I have always loved from the classics. I also have a presentation book of projects but as said those for me seem vividly filed in my head. I have added verses from Remembrance day services at school or the newsletters teachers send home. From magazines that come to my door or quotes from books I am reading that I note are suitable! And in time I have built a collection, a resource and the key is that it is organized for quick reference because mom’s (or dad’s) do not start off with time to spend two weeks arranging for next months family rituals.
So on the first day of September as I have said, I put together a simple seasonal table on our corner cabinet and it was there in time fro breakfast. The children noted the display with enthusiasm and will add to it and change it themselves over the month. When we sat together for our breakfast of pancakes and fruit on the deck, I made a point of moving the wee bottle of flowers from the seasonal table to the breakfast table and I brought the words to the verse and song. We spoke and sang those together and then ate. It doesn’t matter that we don’t know the words by heart and it is nice just to participate in this together. I made a point of sitting to eat breakfast with the children which I love but find hard to do when there are so many other things calling me to do them round the house and what an opportunity to get things done when the children are involved and eating – but I try to ignore these nagging things because it is settling and nurturing for me to eat with my children and to enjoy that time. Something I have had to force myself to sit whether I have food for myself or not. These are the moments we will miss when our children are gone and these are the moments they will remember when they are grown and I will remember when it comes time for me to leave. I often have to remind myself that this is why I am an at home mom, that this stuff is more important than all those tasks that need doing, that life is too short, and still I don’t always sit, but the more I choose too, the more I do so. I believe that this is one of the gifts of motherhood and that this is a valuable use of my time, but at times I have had to force myself to believe that as the chores build up and no pay cheque comes in. I know now in hindsight that part of our children’s flourishing stems from these simple times. It is also a fabulous way to have a moment to talk freely and nurture the lines for communication.