Since my boys were very little I have tried to instill small routines in our lives to help them mark time and build a family culture that allows them to feel a sense of belonging. Some rituals have changed… I no longer nurse babies to sleep, or read Goodnight Moon repeatedly snuggled in the rocking chair. These days, they prefer their stories scary, all together on one bed while they jockey for the best position with Dad.
The one family ritual that has been unchanged no matter where we are is family pizza movie night. In Egypt, my oldest (then two) loved helping me to put anchovies on his pizza. (And sadly, he no longer eats them now.) We bought dough from a local bakery – it was always a rather buttery pizza, and the movie of the night was something animated and (usually) Pixar.
While on evacuation in Arlington, the pizzas where often from Trader Joes or a local pizzeria. After all, we had a limited kitchen. The movies where chosen from TV – a luxury for my little guys who have never had a cable subscription!
Here in Lima, I learned to make my own dough, and top it with spanish chorizo and many many olives. Just when I thought I had it all figured out, my husband was diagnosed with a wheat intolerance. By now, the ritual is important enough that I have spent many hours perfecting pizza dough that tastes not “good for gluten free” but really good.
We all look forward to pizza movie night. It is the one reliable part of our week, no matter what else is going on.
Want to learn more about family rituals and resilience? I’m teaching a webinar on resilience on March 10th at noon EST. Would you like to join? It’s Free! Sign up here