Thursday, July 15, 2010
Annual trips that include my aunt have become a tradition for my family. It began about four years ago when I decided to take my youngest daughter to visit her biological grandparents on the East coast. My husband didn't show a lot of interest, so I asked my aunt if she would come along-I needed the support. We had a wonderful time, extending our trip to include our nations capital, the Lancaster area of Pennsylvania as well as the city of brotherly love, Philadelphia. She has now accompanied us to Minnesota on three adventures to see my parents. This year we let my husband tag along, too! I don't think I can properly express how important this tradition has become to us. One of my cousins has asked to join us on one of our trips. We have so much fun, I can't wait to include her!! These memories will be with us forever, in our hearts and in the scrapbooks I have put together of these adventures.
We have many traditions in our family, most of them are common I would say to many households. The majority of them revolve around holidays. We do not limit ourselves to the ones that have been around since we were children, but we grow new ones. As an extended family, we did not enjoy each others company on Memorial Day or the 4th of July. About four years ago we invited ourselves to my brother-in-laws house for the fourth. Soon we had invited my sister-in-law and her family as well as my parents-in-law. It was very spur of the moment. Thankfully, I have an easy going sister-in-law who went along with it all. It has become a tradition, and every year we know where we will be - with friends and family enjoying time together!
As an adoptive parent, I can tell you how important these times are for my children. Our oldest son, especially, needs these moments. They are something he can hold on to as he struggles to find his way as a young adult. He is currently living with his biological dad, uncle, and grandma. He has spent the last year and a half getting to know them, as well as his mother's family. It has been a learning experience, to say the least. He struggles with balancing it all. He wants to have a relationship with them, but needs the traditions of our family to hold everything together.
It is not always the easiest, for me especially. I have to confess, my husband is much better at this new juncture in our lives. I guess this evens out with his abilities vs mine when the children were young. I have come to the conclusion this is another reason whey God made men and women so different. He knew our children would need us in different aspects as they grew. I am so thankful that I have a husband to help me along this path. I can't imagine doing it alone as some of my friends have.
Traditions are so important to our lives, whether it be a holiday or the same picture taken during every visit to Grandma's. As our children grow up, I hope to add more traditions. A friend of ours has Thursday night dinner once a week - I hope to do something similar. We also plan to continue a tradition my parents started; they always had Christmas Eve at their house. This enabled everyone to spend Christmas Day any way they needed. What are some of your family traditions?
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