Routine is very important for most kids. This point got driven home to me last Friday night.
On Friday I try to make a nice dinner for the Sabbath. During the day I make challah and I try to plan out a dinner that has at least a few elements that everybody will like. We light the candles and say the blessings. After dinner we then have some dessert or the kids might get a piece of candy. It is a very low key observance.
Last Friday as I was pulling out the challah cover and the candle holders I realized I forgot to buy more candles. I had only one candle left. Traditionally two candles are lit for Sabbath. It was too late, dinner was almost ready. So I put one holder back and finished setting the table.
Once we were seated we did the blessings. Max did his now traditional protest of Nate reciting the blessing for bread and all seemed fine. Then the commentary started. At various points a child would ask why there was only one candle. I explained each time we were out of candles. The older boys accepted the explanation and moved on. Max and Rebecca were disturbed by the change in routine. Max would point and say “we need to buy more candles” in a very solemn voice. Rebecca, being a girl of very few words, would just say “need more” in agreement with Max.
It was not earth shaking, but it showed that our little traditions are important to our whole family.