I think many people have rituals in their everyday behaviors. Whether we live alone, have children or pets, or have a partner in our lives, we do certain things on a daily basis that become part of the normal ebb and flow of our days. They may become habits so that we don't forget the small, important things in our lives, or just because they make us feel better. Perhaps in some ways they ground us, or make us fell that all is right in our world. It may be a thing as simple as brushing your teeth at night, something that, when completed, tells your brain that the day's labors have ended and it is time to get some rest.
We are no strangers to little rituals in this home either. There are some things that we do occasionally, and some daily. Heck, even our little dog had rituals. She liked to begin and end each day by showering us with kisses and lying next to us for tummy rubs, or on our chests for back scratches. Heck, when I tell Trent that a meal is ready to be eaten, he usually fills a large glass with ice and a beverage before putting anything on his plate. If he doesn't do it, there seems to be something out of order.
Something that is very important to us is how we end each day. The last thing we do every night before going to sleep is tell each other good night, and that we love one another. Even if we may have been cranky with one another, we don't go to bed without saying these important words. Even when I traveled to Europe, for example, I would call every night before bed, afternoon for Trent here at home, talk about the day, and say say, "Good night, I love you." After all, you never know when you might be having your last conversation with someone you really care about.
One night, after we had said our ritual good nights, and I had plugged into an audio book to help me get to sleep, I heard Trent chuckling. At first I thought perhaps Paris the poodle had pulled a sneak kissing attack and made him laugh, but realized she was curled up under the covers, fast asleep. I pulled out my earbuds and asked what was going on. "Nothing," he said, "go back to sleep." He began chuckling again, and I asked again what was so funny. "Never mind, it's something that you won't think is funny." Well, there was no way I could let it go. I told him that I was not going to leave him alone until he told me what was so funny, because I wouldn't sleep until I knew.
Finally, he caved in. "I was just laying here thinking that it would be funny if I told you 'Good night, Ball and Chain.' " I knew he meant it only as a joke, so it didn't bother me, as there was no insult or disrespect involved. "Go ahead," I said calmly. He giggled and said, "Good night, Ball and Chain!" Without batting an eyelash or changing my tone of voice, I answered, "Good night, Luckiest Bastage on the Face of the Earth!" In just a few moments we were breathless with laughter. Paris was awake, tail wagging, and dancing around on the bed with excitement at the "happy sounds" that her Mommy and Daddy were making. Even though this happened a few years ago, one or the other of us will occasionally replace our normal good nights with this funnier, but still loving, version. And we still laugh at it. It's sassy, but sweet, like our love for one another.