I never really knew I was someone who enjoyed rituals. But I am.
As the years have passed, I've found that I adore traditions. We've developed many traditions with our family. Traditions with birthdays, and holidays, and certain times of the year. These traditions bring joy, as they remind us of other joyous times we've had together, and they give us something to look forward to.
And I think most of us at least have routines. Flipping the coffeemaker on in the morning, taking a morning run, eating dinner as a family together on Sunday.
Jason and I have formed our own rituals. Well, he's the leader, so he's the one who's spearheaded our rituals, but I'm an eager participant.
Several years ago, he bought me a Pandora bracelet. I do love jewelry, and I wanted one of those so badly. I loved that you can buy significant beads for it, and I wanted to remember what each one stood for. It was our ten-year anniversary when he bought that for me. He made babysitting arrangements, and took me to one of the fanciest restaurants I've ever been to. He surprised me, as he'd had my engagement ring (that I couldn't wear anymore, because it didn't fit me after having babies) re-sized. He asked me to marry him all over again, as he slipped the ring back on my finger.
And then he gave me my bracelet. Silver, with delicate pink and silver beads that spelled out “I Love You,” and a ten-year anniversary charm. I loved that bracelet. But it didn't take on the significance it now has until we embraced d/s.
The first Christmas after he made me his submissive, he bought me a d/s charm. I keep it on the underside of my wrist, and when people ask to look at the charms on my bracelet, I discreetly keep that one hidden. You have to look very very closely to see the wording on it, and it would cause some questions. It leaves no doubt that I am Jason's. Most people I know in real life don't know I'm a submissive, of course, so it's best to keep it private. But I love it. When he gave it to me, it made me cry.
After he gave me the charm, he made a rule that I'm not allowed to put the bracelet on by myself. He has to be the one to put it on me. And so the ritual was born.
Every single morning, I go to him. On weekdays, I bring him his coffee at a certain time, but on weekends it's a little later. We talk about our day. And when we're ready to get up and start our day, he has me kneel. Every morning, he asks me, “What are your rules?” and he takes me through them.
Now, we have a general understanding. There is no contract, or rules written down. The general idea is, I'm to be obedient to him in all ways, and make safe choices. So even though there's no “rule” for certain things, I know what is expected. Still, he goes over my rules. It goes something like this.
I'm kneeling, his hand under my chin, making eye contact, “What are your safety rules?”
“No speeding, or texting in the car, no calling out on my cell. Buckle the kids, remember my hair straightener, be careful with the stove, and lock the door...”
“What are your “be nice to other people” rules?”
“No swearing, no yelling at anyone.”
“And what are your “always” rules?”
“Always be respectful and obedient to you.”
I know my rules. There have been a handful of times he's simply smiled and said, “You know what I expect today.” But he does like me to repeat it. Sometimes, when I've broken a rule, before he's punished me, he'll ask, “What's your number one rule?”
After we go over my rules, he usually hugs me. Sometimes I put my head in his lap. He asks me for my list for the day, which I keep on an app on my phone. We're techies, and this works. I can send him a screenshot of my list at anytime. He approves (or denies lol), and moves things around to prioritize. He might ask me to pick something up at the store, and put that at the top of the list, and it's not uncommon for him to look at my list, say something like, “You have too many things here,” and take things off my list. I like that he does this.
And then he snaps my bracelet on. I wear a silver collar, a locking necklace he gave me last year, but that never comes off. Although I love it – and I think, even though it's controversial, I'll post about that one day – the bracelet seals things. When he snaps it on, it's like a daily physical reminder of my obedience to him.
Then he puts me over his knee. It's almost always a smaller spanking, with his hand, but if I'm needing more (as in, I'm hormonal and grumpy, or stressed, or he wants to remind me who's in charge), he may pull out the brush or take off his belt.
And off I go, with a stinging bottom, reminded of whom I belong to, what my place is, and what I need to do for the day.
I love this morning ritual. I wasn't sure if I wanted to call it a routine or a ritual, but I think ritual fits.The difference between the two is that a ritual has a feeling of the sacred about it. It's more than a simple routine. A routine may be something like how I brush my teeth, or how I do the laundry. A ritual has greater significance. Jason once told me he loves our ritual, as it makes him feel like he's doing his very best to make sure I'm taken care of in his absence.
However, this past week, we both got sick. Our entire family came down with the flu, and it wasn't fun. We're mostly over it now, though we have some lingering coughs, but the entire week was thrown off track.
We didn't do our ritual, not once. We were mostly doing things like sleeping, taking care of our kids, and watching tons of television. There were no to-do lists. There was no laying over his lap. No going over rules. No snapping on my bracelet. Although I missed the familiar heavy feel of the bracelet on my wrist...the thrill and peace I feel when laying over his lap...his finger under my chin, or my head in his lap...it was in the background, as taking care of myself and my family were of more importance.
We had a few whispered conversations at night, where he held me, and tucked me in, and I felt his constant presence, of course...but the morning ritual was absent.
Finally, I was well enough to go to the store and pick up a few things we needed. I went out, for the first time in as long as I can remember, without going over my rules. No bracelet on my wrist. It felt...off. I swerved on the road at one point, not paying attention, and although I hadn't broken a rule, I told Jason about it when I came home.
He nodded, and gave me The Look. He was sitting in his chair, and I sat on the small foot stool next to him. He reached one hand out and cupped my face. To my surprise, he asked me the question he asks me every single morning.
“What are your rules?”
And to my further surprise...I burst into tears.
“Why are you crying?” he asked, perplexed. “You're not in trouble. I'm not going to punish you.”
“I know,” I said, as I buried my face in his lap and sniffled. “I don't know why I'm crying.”
He asked me to finish going over my rules, and he kissed me. “You've missed this,” he said, and I nodded.
I did. Oh, how I missed it. I didn't even know how much I had missed it, until I had it again.
I thought about why I cried. I wasn't really sure, at first. But I think that the truth is, this all hits me harder than I think it does. What he does for me. Him, being my leader, and taking care of me. Yes, I write about it. But I don't think I fully realized the impact until it was missing.
It's so comforting to me, our daily ritual, the little things we have together. Little reminders of how he loves me better and more fully than I ever thought possible.