It takes a spot of courage to stand up tall and a bit of derring-do to rise when you fall

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Tradition, Tradition!

I've read articles and heard accounts of people who have really neat/unique/special family traditions---whether it be at a holiday time or in the summer. Things they do every year at the same time and the whole family looks forward to it. Or maybe it's several families that get together and this tradition forms a special and large part of their growing up years and memories. This tradition weaves itself into the layers of essential life. Now, some of the cooler traditions that have appealed to me seem to belong to a class of which I'm not a member. Having a summer home on Martha's Vineyard will probably never be in the scope of my reality. And that's okay. Let them have their pristine beaches and ice-blue cool hallways of high-ceilinged homes that ring with laughter and the sound of sandy feet. I mean, what is that to me? There are other more attainable traditions that have appeal. A week on a houseboat. A week camping either in the same place or picking a spot on the map. Thanksgiving with traditions around the table, traditions of who comes and who brings what. Whatever the case may be, whatever the time of year, there is something very appealing to me about a family tradition.

And so it has come to my attention that my family doesn't have any real traditions. Not any that are essential, that can't be missed, that are looked forward to by every member every year. And I want that. But how does one go about, at an advanced state of family life, suddenly creating a family tradition? I don't propose that it's too late but I do propose that I have no idea how to go about establishing such a thing with any sort of authenticity or depth---it has to be something meaningful and attainable and cherished. You can't just point to a picture in a book and say, "That's the one I want. That will be our tradition." I suspect there must be more to it than that.


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