Friday, February 10, 2012

I'm Yours!

So first, some unsolicited advice:  If you want to be challenged, blessed and occasionally provoked, start following Erin Barrette Goodman's blog.  Enough said.

So it is Day Seven of the 10 Day Family Re-Charge.  Today we are thinking about the things that make us a family:  our anchor points, our traditions and our memories. 

 Friday is definitely an anchor point for us.  Quite often we watch a family movie on Friday, all huddled together on the sofas, with pillows, blankets and popcorn.  We all unwind together.

Church is an anchor.  We don't go to the same service time every week, but as much as possible, we get there together.  Sundays are "project day" in our house; it's when we do that sewing project, craft thingy or whatever we've been too busy the rest of the week to get to.  It's family day and rare that we run errands or play with friends away from home.  It's our gathering and centering time.

We have tons of family traditions because we are "those" people but I think our simple ones are the ones that our kids treasure the most.  By way of example, years ago to teach the girls to converse, we started a sort of formal table conversation.  Each person answers three questions:
  • What was the best part of your day?
  • What was the hardest part?
  • What would you like a do-over for?
The Littles really don't quite get the whole thread, but they absolutely love having their very own turn to talk where no one interrupts and we all nod sagely as if we understand what they just said!  It provides us some really helpful insight into the big girls lives, too.  It is really connecting to make sure everyone gets some air time.

Another tradition or ritual is that I always check on the kids once they go to bed.  When I tuck the Littles in, I always say, "hasta mañana, see you in the morning" in a sing-songy voice followed by, "sweet dreams."  If I am distracted or interrupted and forget, they all shout it out to me, it matters. 

In the morning, when Dear Hubby heads to work, he has to kiss everyone who's up.  This can take some time, but we never skip it.  The little ones jostle for who gets that last kiss and then, ironically, they practically slam the door on him as he finally heads out. 

Our big traditions center around the obvious holidays, but also include Martin Luther King Day, New Year's Day Brunch (our anniversary), Valentine's Day bowling (and making our own Valentines).  The kids have also come to expect some Tom Foolery coming from Mama on April Fools.  I have come up with some doozies over the years and rest assured, I have some big plans for this year too!

When I was a kid, we did jigsaw puzzles on school holidays.  We'd set the puzzle up on a card table and people just sat down whenever they had the urge to put a few pieces in.  This is something we've done on occasion in this family and something I'll be more purposeful about in the future.  We also played a lot of board games and my "now" family used to have a family game night.  Where did that go?  Look for a come-back there, too!

I find it helpful sometimes to look closely at what it is that binds us together, the small things that say "I'm yours."  It's so easy to take those things for granted.  I can think of a few things, like "game night" that I want to re-institute and a few new things we may have room for.  My theory is, we can never spend too much time together or make too many memories. 

What are the little things you do that say, "I'm yours?"

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