Feb 27, 2014

little traditions

I find it incredibly exciting that with the arrival of a new child comes the opportunity to create brand new family traditions. Growing up, my family was not driven by tradition and events. Sure, we celebrated mainstream holidays, but it was never a monumental undertaking. But there were the little things, and looking back, I can see that they were family traditions in their own right.

There was the boisterous greeting that my American grandfather would always use when he saw me. "MWAAAA!" he bellowed, as he wrapped me up in a huge hug. He called this our special language, and it was--a sacred conversation between grandfather and grandchild.

My Japanese grandmother would pull on my earlobes before bedtime, assuring me that the longer the earlobe, the better my prospects for great wealth and health in the future. If ever she forgot to do this during our bedtime routine, I quickly reminded her, as the night didn't feel complete without this little gesture.

With a toddler, routines are constantly shaken up, and these little traditions that we develop can be quite transient. For Julie, there is her morning walk with Daddy, the long trek (for little legs) to go see the horses after the local farmers market, our evening sling-cuddly time, and the way that we wind down at bedtime. I read her one story, and then she takes the book and reads it to herself, while I comb her wild curls with my fingers. When she is done, she turns around, murmurs "Mommy" with a smile that could melt the weariest of mamas. As quickly as these little traditions develop, they can fade away just as swiftly, leaving behind only a sweet memory, and a slight ache in my heart--a constant reminder of just how fast it all goes, and how precious this time is.

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