Ahhhhh, traditions. I love traditions. Why? They provide some form of connection.
Growing up, we moved a lot. My mom didn’t always make the best of decisions, but who does? With our moves, stability could have easily been something we never knew. But, there were some things that kept us connected.
I live in the same house Spaghetti and I bought 9 1/2 years ago. We don’t change a lot of things. When I first moved out of my mom’s, I had to either move or redecorate my house often just because I “needed” the change. Now? I think I redecorate every Christmas when it is time to put up the Christmas tree.
BUT, I still thrive on tradition. Why? It connects us to the past.
For my foster children, my desire is for them to know that they are connected to us, even if it is just for a short period of time.
Every year, we take Noodle to the Corn Maize in western Oklahoma. Guess what? This year it was Noodle, Hot Sauce, Cookie Muffin, Spaghetti, and myself. We were rushed. We didn’t get to spend near as much time there as I would have liked. Why did we go? Tradition!
But what about those every day traditions? I really think they may have more value in the lives of our foster children. Like:
Every night, we pray as a family. When we finish praying we give night time hugs and kisses, followed by a saying. The fun thing about this saying is that I grew up on it.
“Good night. Have sweet dreams. I love you. Don’t let the bed bugs bite. Sleep tight. I’ll see you in the morning.”
Yeah, we taught the kids that. And we vary it up on delivery to make it unique to each individual. For Cookie Muffin, she mostly giggled the entire time she was saying it. But, Cookie Muffin giggles all the time and we wouldn’t expect less. Hot Sauce? He’s a man of depth. It has meaning to him. And Noodle – well, it’s just what we do.
But, imagine the feeling Hot Sauce and Cookie Muffin had the first time they met my parents and told them good night and heard that saying? Of course, Cookie Muffin just giggled. But you could see a look of recognition on their faces. Were they connected? Yep.
Our night time prayers are that of tradition too. No, we don’t say the same thing over and over again. But the way we do it is tradition, to draw everyone in. And when we have guests, they join us.
When we took them shopping for school clothes, Cookie Muffin saw a shirt with hands stacked. She said, “Hey, that’s how we pray!” pointing to it. Quickly followed by, “I won’t wear that shirt.” Yeah, I got a good laugh, but stacked hands will always bring her back to the time they lived here and we prayed.
Traditions. They are important with our own children. But I wonder if they are more important with our foster children.
What traditions are you making sure you carry on?