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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

In the Beginning.....

.... 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.


FIREBIRD said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

This post reminds me of something my mom once said to me: You will be surprised how much your dad and I will have learn from the time YOU are 16 until you're 22. That's when I realized my dumb parents weren't so dumb after all. It's quite an awakening. Traditions? Nothing specific - we just all love getting together whenever we can and enjoying good food, wine, and fellowship.

namaste said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

firebird, isn't it funny when we finally begin to growup and really GET IT? haha! enjoying good food, wine and fellowship sounds like great!

mCat said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I'm a tradition freak and so my poor boys have been subjected to many formal and informal traditions. But I love it because it makes us - "us".

And the best part is even as adults we are still creating them. I think that's the real beauty - it's never too late to start some

Nikki said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Isn't it funny that you didn't even know you had traditions and when you stopped to thing about did!! I love it. We have traditions and they have often changed with my son getting older. Right now a tradition we have is me laying on Jakes bed while he plays DJ. He plays me his favorite songs and I act like they are the coolest songs I've ever heard. I can't tell you how precious it is when he comes and interrupts me and begs me to come and hang with him. It's a joy. We have other traditions that revolve around favorite eating places etc. It gives us a sense of belonging and we all need that!! Love the post....:)N

Nikki said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

oops....*stopped to think about it. I'm retarded.

Granny Annie said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

A single parent from the time my children were 3 and 4 until they were 29 and 30, I have to admit that they raised me. Our traditions are many and all wonderful.

Pedaling said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

look at that cute little peanut head!
(that's an endearing nick name we call little ones who have cute little heads.)

you are at the perfect stage in life to implement new traditions.
that's where i am as well. i've found with my kids at the same age as yours, moving out, making a life of their own - that's the time to figure out what it is you "do" now.

some of our traditions....mexican food on christmas eve.
the nativity story on christmas eve.
prayer as a family before dinner
going to church every sunday ( i guess that's a kind of tradition ??)
big daddy taking each of the children on a daddy daughter or son trip with just them 2 times. once when they are around 12 and another around the age 16. with a big family, this is something the kids really look forward to...alone time w/the parent.
phone call to my mom and daughter who both live in another state, every sunday evening.
those are a few of ours.

namaste said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

mcat, your tradition freak will rub off and your kids and grandkids will love it. i think that's awesome! it's never too late to start some. yes, i like that!

nik, oh! i love the dj tradition with jake. so fun! and how cool that he still seeks you out to hang with him! re: your second comment, HA! i went back and read my comment to you in my last post and found it all jumbled. i was like WTH?! after the first line the rest was jumbled. i basically just shrugged and said, it's nik, she knows my retarded side and loves me anyway ;-)

annie, kudos to you for doing that big job all alone! and a nice perk is looking back and seeing how they raised us too, like you said.

pedaling, peanut head- how cute! i used to call all toddling babies pamper-butt. so true, about the age of our kids now and how we're thinking as parents now that we know more. love all your traditions too, especially the alone time with one parent. you're right, kids love that!

Nikki said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Oh yes, I speak fluent Maria!! Sometimes I think we could telepathically communicate....oh man, we do!!!! :)N