Friday, March 09, 2012
We were well-embedded in this before we saw the Dobson book Let's Make a Memory, which stressed the importance of this for grounding a child in a family and the world in general. Come to think of it, I don't think we ever read it, just knew it was there and told friends to go that route. Children are naturally conservative about such things in their earlier years - in highschool the bonds begin to chafe a bit, and they resist some of it, but in general they come to see it as part of the definition of what their childhood was, or even who they are.
For us it was important to make all things new, though we drew almost entirely on traditional elements. That's who were were, I think, and perhaps who we are: a kaleidoscope turn of familiar bits recreated. Much of the family tradition was highly intentional, but other parts came in serendipitously - an ice-cream maker purchased for $2 at a yard sale became central to the Defiance of Midwinter, while an attempt to start Devotion By The Ocean lasted only one year (very hot chocolate spilled, no available restrooms...). Yet I don't think one knows to keep the accidental elements unless one is always looking to add to the collection. Chance favors the prepared mind and all that.
So, my young friends expecting their first and wondering about parenting advice, I would suggest you put this high on the list. Make traditions. Never be afraid to steal good material from other families, but have confidence that you might come up with good things on your own. And invite folks over.
Posted by Assistant Village Idiot at 11:16 PM