Friday, August 27, 2010

Traditions Old and New

With the holidays fast approaching (I know it's only August, but you just wait, it will be here before you know it!) I've been finding myself thinking a lot about traditions. They can be as big as who hosts the holiday shindig and as small as the summer reading program you participated in every year at the local library. Some are really special and some you would rather do without. For example, in my own family, I always cherished the tradition of putting baby Jesus in the manger after Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. Mom's green jello salad at Thanksgiving dinner however, not so much. Funny thing though, it wouldn't have been Thanksgiving without it. So no matter good or bad...I think you cling to tradition.

As my own little family was growing up, we created new traditions along the way. A blending, if you will, between his traditions and mine. And sometimes, you have to create new traditions when you don't really want to: as we did when our parents passed away. I'm coming to one of those crossroads now. As my little family is all but grown up now, I'm faced with the reality that, eventually, they will be blending their traditions with someone else's. And with Sarah so far from home, she has been creating some new traditions of her own. She has spent the last two Thanksgivings back east with friends. This year, Beth will join her there. I'm sad that both my girls will be gone for the holiday, but I'm also so very happy that they have each other and that Beth will provide a little bit of "home" for Sarah.

I'm not sure I like how these new traditions affect me. Since I don't really have a say in the matter, I'm trying my best to forge forward and find joy in the fact that I raised happy, healthy adults who love their family but are independent enough to be able to create their own traditions. It's the age old conundrum of being a parent. You raise them up with all the love in your heart, only to have them leave you. And here's the conundrum part - that's what you want to happen, even though it hurts you beyond anything you ever imagined.

So here we are at the dawn of another holiday season full of traditions and I'm thinking I might just have to create a new one of my own. Not sure what it will be yet but I'll keep you posted.

Hope everyone has a great weekend and an even better week. Talk to you next Friday!

Quote of the Week:

Men can know more than their ancestors did if they start with a knowledge of what their ancestors had already learned....That is why a society can be progressive only if it conserves its traditions.
~Walter Lippmann (1889 - 1974) ~

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