Who: Anne, Marijn, Julie & Livia
Ages: 35, 35, 4 & 1
Omelet on Saturday
My sister and I played hockey every Saturday morning. My father was coach of one of the teams. When we came home he made us a Kaiser roll with omelet. All four of us jumped on the couch where we ate our sandwich. The couch faced towards the window. It was a rather strange position for a couch, but handy as you could look out the window at what was happening in the street. They were very relaxed moments, eating an egg sandwich after a tiring match. It still feels like just yesterday that we sat there.
Since we have had children, we live a more structured life. It is mainly led by Marijn, but I believe it’s important as well, especially for the children. We always put them to bed together. For the last year the game ‘Poekoeloekoe’ has been part of the going to bed ritual. Julie invented the game. She said: ‘1, 2 , 3 Poekoeloekoe!’ and we ran to the couch as fast as possible. Since Livia joined, a robot element has joined the competitive side of it. Marijn is the robot. I say: ‘1, 2, 3 Poekoeloekoe’! and the girls and I start running. The robot starts a little later and catches one of the children. We normally play the game twice as both of them need to be caught.
The evening always follows the same pattern. We’re home from 5pm and the children watch television while I prepare supper. We eat, they bathe, we play Poekoeloekoe, they each get a bottle of milk and at 7pm we put them to bed. Pretty boring, but routines make life easier. Hmm, that sounds quite tough when I say it out loud. Yet I do see it that way. Structure provides stability and creates space to achieve something in life. If life were to revolve around spontaneous moments, that would become your routine. Whereas those unexpected things – such as a spontaneous evening walk – now are the gems that make life extra special.
I enjoy the unexpected moments, but I realize I have the best memories of things we repeatedly did. Eating an omelet on Saturday and pancakes on Wednesday. My mother used to make pancakes on Wednesday when we came home from school. My sister and I and little neighbor Bob who often joined, enjoyed it very much. My mom still makes them when they are visiting us or if we are on vacation together. She calls it our family tradition.
Being at ease
We never miss this evening ritual. Things like evenings out for the two of us, we always plan to leave after we’ve put the children into bed. The children look forward to Poekoeloekoe, it makes the bedtime ritual fun. Livia will remind us if we forget about it. She just places us at the starting point at the bottom of the stairs. The bedtime ritual is a cozy end to the day. It gives me peace of mind when the children are safe asleep in their beds.