.... of my parenting life, I had no plan.
As I entered adulthood, my main parenting forethought was, I would do better than my own parents had done. Back then, I was in an extended stage of rebellion, much more focused on what my parents had done and were doing wrong, rather than what they had done and were doing right.
Plan? No plan. Just, I'm leaving. College life. Real job. First apartment. Real life. I'm free! No more being bossed around by anyone!
I've since learned that teenage angst can extend well into adulthood. Yah! Who knew?! Not only that, but also, what we think we knew, during emotionally charged periods of life, could in fact turn out to be majorly wrong.
Oh the tangled world of adulthood! It's layers of wisdom are tucked into folds which often only straightened with time and age. Just call me origami-girl. Heh.
When we spent last Christmas Eve at the home of friends of ours from church, one of the moms asked me something that's been bouncing around my noggin ever since. We were making Christmas cookies with the kiddies and my sweet friend turned to me and asked, What kind of traditions do you and your family have at Christmas?
Making Christmas cookies with her grandkids was a family tradition of this mom that could be traced back several generations. I was unprepared for such a question. I simply said, we usually had Christmas dinners together until some of us started moving away.
But I have been wondering about that question ever since. Traditions. What traditions do we have?
Ummm.... I dunno.
Outside of marriage and education, I hadn't given traditions much thought.
My first born, pictured above, came here with specific plans to shake things up in my world. In retrospect, I can tell she knew fairly early that I was unprepared for my parenting gig. So she figured she'd better take the reigns get things moving (smart kid). There was lots of crying and plenty of tantrums. What's a toddler to do when a parent like me refuse to play ball?! *wink wink*
She forced me to think on my feet and figure this parenting thing out .... quick! Don't just stand there, mommy, react to me! She was feisty but extremely charming and loveable.
Despite my initial new-momness confusion, Twinkle and her little sister actually turned out alright. God had His arms around us the whole time, I assure you. It turns out a lot of my parenting magical-ness can also be traced back to the two people who I thought was doing it all wrong when they raised me. Huh! Go figure!
As for traditions. Well, I'll be piecing it together for you, my dear daughters. We have them. I just never thought to speak of them specifically. Here are a few family favorites:
- We are writers who journal.
- We are avid readers who love the feel and smell of books and their pages.
- We pray often (separately), though not together as often as I would have liked. But it's never too late to start?
- We enjoy cooking.
- We love tennis.
To my kiddos: there ya go! It's not all of them. But it's a start. I do hope you continue them by reflecting on them and passing them on.
As for my parenting plan? I'm still working on that .... obviously. From what I'm told, parenting has no actual formal ending. Some days that's good news. Other days, not so much. But I love love LOVE being a mom. That's news I found in one of my folds.
What about you readers? What are some of YOUR traditions.