With the holidays approaching the reminder of traditions, ringing like a bell in my head..
“Traditions are the guideposts driven deep in our subconscious minds. The most powerful ones are those we can’t even describe, aren’t even aware of.” – Ellen Goodman
Growing up I didn’t have many traditions that we participated in as a family other than the holidays, Christmas at grandma and grandpa LaCoss house. I remember all the family showing up and thinking “where are we all going to fit?” As family began to poor in and find a place to sit or stand the conversations began the puns and jokes flowing like a river from Grandpa Jack and my uncles mouths. The jokes that were told were not understood until much later in life “thank God” and they will never be forgotten.
A much different tradition has taken place over the last 10 years, the tradition of not having a tradition. With every family doing their own thing, setting up their own rules and not coming together anymore, I begin to think of what we are going to leave for our girls to remember as a tradition.
My family has become a broken memory of what it once was and a painful reminder of the bitterness of un-forgiveness that has taken over. What once was a family of 30 strong have become many small gatherings of individual families.
With pride running deep into the hearts of some and bitterness and anger in others about the “who did what to who” and “I’m not going to say anything to anyone” and to hold it so tightly, like a gift.
I play my part by being one of the quiet ones and going with the flow only to hut others in the process. Feeling stuck in the middle loving everyone in my family and having a special part in my heart for all of them I back off and do nothing, only to look at what my girls will see as a tradition.
We have begun to do exactly what I am writing about, Thanksgiving at home, Christmas at home and not wanting to enter into the drama of what the holidays seem to bring is our new tradition. I would love nothing more than to have our girls experience what I did as a child and knowing that will most likely never be what it once was breaks my heart. One thing about Traditions I have learned is that no matter what the outcome of the tradition good or bad they are markers in our lives set as a reference point of a time or place in our lives.
To describe Christmas as a child I would not come close to hitting the mark, my words fall short to explain the pure joy and fun it was to have a small house full of family together for the holidays. I miss what it was and I miss many of the memories I had growing up and the time has come to make some new traditions as small as they may seem to me they are the lifelong memories our draughts will have to hold on to.
“There are two lasting bequests we can give our children one is roots, the other is wings”. – Hodding Carter
The image above is a tattoo on my chest that I share with my brother, it says family in Hebrew and has a very special place in my heart.