Creating family traditions

I’ve been realizing how much power I have as a mom. No, not over my kids (ha!), or my life, or in society…hell, I can’t control my hair half the time. But in terms of writing my family’s history, I have absolute power over our traditions. And it is not a job I take lightly.

We already have several Christmas traditions in place – things I did when I was single, and things I’ve added since having a family of my own. But what about the rest of the year? Why wait until Christmas to celebrate?

R and I have added a few must-do activities to our repertoire since having Anya: the Jones Orchard corn maze, Zoo Boo and Zoo Lights at the Memphis Zoo, and Starry Nights. We go to the Delta Fair and Munford Celebrate, and whichever fireworks display is most convenient. But there wasn’t much in the first half of the year. The Easter Egg drop. That’s about it.

This year, I’ve been working to recognize the neglected holidays (Valentine’s, St. Patrick’s Day), and to find things to celebrate in the dry spells. So I couldn’t pass up Leap Day.

The day didn’t really turn out as I had planned. I bought the kids shirts with bunnies on them (I couldn’t find frog shirts, but wanted to stay with the hopping theme), which they loved.I took the day off from work, and I was going to bake froggy cupcakes with the kids and set up a picnic in the park. But Anya begged to spend the night with Mimi the night before, and Mimi was feeling better after her latest RA flare, so we hung out with her instead. (Anya and Mimi just baked some cupcakes Sunday, so we didn’t really need more cupcakes right now anyway.)

We had fun, though – went to the park. Twice. And Kai is now old enough to get down and play, so that was fun.

As it was just Kai and I that morning, I got in some great one-on-one time with him. We played peekaboo, we read stories, we snuggled up and watched a movie. (All before dawn. Why don’t my children sleep?!) I miss Anya when she’s gone, but I love having mommy-Kai time.

I want more of this. More celebrations. More days off with the kids. More snuggles. More trips to the park. Which is why I’ve made it a priority in my monthly goals.

Leap Day is an official family holiday now. I will take off work, and we will celebrate. Bunny shirts and all. (At least for the next one; 16-year-old Anya might balk at wearing a bunny shirt.)  And I am currently working on some St. Patty’s traditions. The boys’ birthday is March 18, so St. Patrick’s Day is kind of a big deal around here. As Easter is early this year, I will have to come up with something for April, too. Ideally, we’ll have at least one thing to celebrate each month. A steady stream of things to look forward to.

Isn’t that what life is all about?

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