I want to bring Finn (and any siblings who come along) up with a clearly defined sense of belonging in the world, and what it means to be a part of our family. I want them to have expectations and to have those expectations met, to create a sense of security and a solid foundation.
It is in this frame of mind that I think of beginning traditions in our little family unit. It's so funny - I feel like traditions are things that have just sort of happened in my life - and to an extent, I think that's true. But I also like to think that at some point along the line, some thought was put into how and why we do what we do - from the mundane everyday to international holidays.
In the class I've been taking, the module this week was about the family table - particularly the act of coming together around a table at the end of the day and making it important - showing gratitude for the food, slowing down, checking in, and enjoying time spent together. Now, I'm not naive enough to think that this will always happen, but I would like for it to be a cornerstone - something to which we can return and feel rejuvenated by the simple act of sitting around a table and sharing a meal.
I've got all sorts of ideas for birthdays - from filling bedrooms with balloons when the wee one wakes up in the morning to mad scavenger hunts all over the island as they grow, but I do want some thing to stay the same every year - soon I'll begin working on a bunting like this, to be displayed at every birthday. I'd also like to make felt crowns for the special girl or boy to wear on the day. My aunt and uncle have a great tradition of letting the celebrant choose a special meal, which I just love the idea of (I can get behind pretty much anything involving food). An annual interview, footprinting each year, maybe a photograph in the same place - the list goes on and on...I may have to rein myself in a bit :)
The traditions that I'm thinking the most about are the ones that teach a lesson, that instill values that I hope my kids will take with them - like what to do at Christmas, when the general rule is "more is better" and the message we all receive is "shop til you drop". I'd really like to be mindful this year as we begin this parenting journey to slow down, to acknowledge what I believe are the messages of the holiday season - gratitude, joy, and maybe a little magic. I've been toying with the idea of celebrating the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. I've found a few good ideas here and there and am trying to figure out what makes sense for us.
This is tricky business - to not overdo it, not push it or make it seem false, but to come up with some general guidelines and see where they take us, and above all to make it our own.
I'm excited to see where it takes us, and would love to hear any ideas or guidance you may have out there!
Oh, and here's a super cute photo of Finn - 9 months old!!! :)