Thursday, August 12, 2010

Summer Traditions

A while back, I read a discussion in a parenting book or magazine emphasizing the importance of traditions in families. In particular, it suggested that from the age of 3 up, children would begin to anticipate and remember traditions. I think I was reading this around the holidays, right after Maggie turned 3. When I get drawn into a topic in an article or book, I tend to get REALLY drawn in, and take things way to literally! I remember feeling a bit of a panic after reading this little discussion on family traditions. "What if when Maggie is 18, she remembers that when she was 3 we didn't have ANY family traditions!!!!" Yes, these thoughts really crossed my mind. Then, I slept on it, came to reality that there was no way I could figure this out this year (esp since we weren't even going to be home for Christmas) and decided we would figure out all of our traditions next year.

Fast forward to today. I decided to make smoothies for snack this afternoon. Joe was napping, Maggie was doing her own thing. Not long after I started the blender, she ran into the kitchen with a big smile on her face, looked at the blender, mumbled something to me which I couldn't hear, pointed to the back door and ran to grab her shoes. She knew it was time for "smoothies on the deck". Aha! A tradition, I thought! Even though it was a bazillion degrees outside, I knew we always drink smoothies on the deck. It started back in the Spring and has been a "tradition" all summer.

So, then I realized...many, many traditions just become. And, often, the unplanned ones are the best. I admit I knew this all along, but I just wasn't looking for them. When I looked back through photos I found that this summer has been full of little traditions - things that the kids have come to rely on. Like, waiting for the hot days to pass and running in the late afternoon rainstorm.
Running in the Rain

Laughing in the Rain
Or playing hopscotch.
Or just being buddies.
Buddies with Popsicles

Holding Hands in the Rain

Here's to many more traditions that just become!