“In the tapestry of childhood, what stands out is not the splashy, blow-out trips to Disneyland but the common threads that run throughout and repeat: the family dinners, nature walks, reading together at bedtime, Saturday morning pancakes.”
― Kim John Payne

This afternoon my family – husband, two children and visiting grandparents – will be going to see the Harlem Globetrotters. I have been wanting to take my boys to the show for years and am so excited to finally be going. I have resisted getting tickets in the past because I thought the show – with it’s sure-to-be loud, flashy, potty-humor antics – might be too much for my boys. Too much because we don’t do a lot of big, loud, flashy stuff. We mostly do small, fairly quiet, pretty simple things – hikes, reading stories, playing board games, hanging around.

I am quite deliberate about what “extra” things we do on top of our daily activities. I don’t want us to do too much, to be too busy or to raise the bar so that “entertainment” is the expected mode; I like to have lots of time for my boys to putter around, be bored and figure out what to do next.

But, that does not mean that things at our house are hushed, somber or overly serious. There is often over-the-top humor, full-throttle basketball games and (let’s keep it real) plenty of boy wrestling that turns the corner between playing and fighting. Things get messy, loud and chaotic every day.

Yet, the foundational rhythms and activities are fully grounded; they anchor and orient our family life. The fact that Friday night is Shabbat dinner, reading always happens before bed and our family cheer happens before any road trip are the things that we all rely on and take comfort in.

So, while I hope we have a blast today cheering on those silly Globetrotters, the fun we have will be enhanced both by the rarity of the event and the strong foundation of calm and connection that we share.