Family Traditions

I'm having trouble trying to recall any particular 'family traditions' from my own early days - there are some things we used to do regularly, but nothing I'd call a "tradition" as such. After reading so many lovely anecdotes from other families on various blogs and also in Soulemama's book "The Creative Family" I'm keen to start some of our own. 

It's quite difficult to know where to begin as I have no religion and there is a lack of any real cultural identity in our country, plus I am a ("Heniz 57 varieties") mix of cultures myself and the children are Wenglish (Welsh/English mix). So our fledgeling traditions are being borrowed from here there and everywhere, taking what works and leaving what doesn't...just like life!

As I always take the time to draw the children's attention to the seasons and changes in nature, it felt important to mark the Solstice today with some kind of "new tradition", although I wasn't terribly organised in advance (which I must remedy next year). You can see the sunshine meal I cobbled together  for them - they loved it (CHIPS!). 

And afterwards I read to them a passage from a book I've had for a little while and which I like to dip in and out of...

The Summer Solstice is the longest day and the shortest night of the year. The sun has grown to its full strength, and summer begins. Even as we enjoy swimming and picnicking, we know that the days will begin to get shorter again as soon as Solstice passes.  The Summer Solstice reminds us that nothing lasts forever. We do not live in the unchanging twighlight realm of the Faery, but in the living, dying, fading and growing realm of earth. Whenever something is completed, we must let it go. Because things we love don't last forever, we love them all the more while they are here. But letting go of things we love is never easy. The Summer Solstice is a time to practice giving things away, letting go of what is completed and done...

Afterwards I marked the children's height on the wall in the playroom (shockingly, the first time this has been done!) and then they started gathering things they could "let go" into a Time Capsule to be opened next Summer Solstice, while I prepared the table for the little ceremony...

Sadly, it all went downhill from there. It was after 18:00, My Boy was exhausted, bickering started, quickly followed by tears and stamping of feet (not mine) ..... and it ended in us skipping straight to bedtime :(

When the children were asleep, I had time to reflect on the things that I am ready to let go of (there are a few) and to discuss with D that he should prepare himself to let go of his Grandfather sometime soon. He is ill in hospital - rallying but very frail and very old. Letting go really isn't easy. 

To encourage the children to appreciate that which they have and it's transience (for EVERYTHING is transient), next year I would like to add some form of Gratitude into our tradition - maybe some pictures of things they hold dear at that moment.... ?

Here are a few of mine:


1 comment

  1. Thats lovely - it put me in a really good mood for the day actually! I was pleased to see my face made an appearance in the 'holding dear at the moment' section.
    And I really liked the passage. Get the kids used to that while they are young... much more worthwhile than other traditions we have by default, like 'a fat man with a bad diet brings you loads of toys you dont really need once a year'' and ''a rabbit will leave far too much chocolate for you to eat, in the garden'' etc etc


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