Creating Traditions When Everything Feels Non-traditional
Our family’s tradition has always been to not be too traditional. For the most part, we come by this naturally as my husband and I are both spontaneous and have never clung too tightly to our plans. It also has been somewhat necessary to be flexible due to the nature of his work as a musician in the band Hanson. It is one of the reasons homeschooling has always been a good fit for our family. We’ve all had to have a birthday in a weird place, and anniversaries and holidays have had to move and adjust based on whatever direction life decides to go. We have taken the good with the bad, enjoying the moments when they come, while trying not to dwell much on missed traditions. It is a part of our family identity. In fact, I have always carried a sense of pride in our ability to pivot and take whatever comes our way. However, recent events have forced me to reexamine this part of our family culture.
When you are in the business of large, close-contact gatherings, social distancing isn’t good for business. Almost every show and event planned in what was supposed to be a very busy year for us has been cancelled. In fact, my husband and I realized this is the longest we have ever consistently been in the same city since we have been married! Yikes.
One day recently, when the news of the cancellation of a particularly fun annual gig came in, one of my children started crying. Hard crying. More than seemed appropriate for the situation. It hit me in that moment that without realizing it, our non-traditional-ness had become our tradition, and we were having much of that taken away by the pandemic. Those tears pulled at my mom heartstrings big time. I decided right then that I would put a new kind of effort into turning our little world into a tradition fest. I am out of my element here, as I’ve never been an over-the-top birthday mom, holiday mom, or any of that, but I realize that when it comes to the attitude of my family, I am the one in the driver’s seat. And right now I need to take the wheel. So I am doing whatever I can to keep the tears away and the celebrations coming! That is what we are doing over here, and having everyone home for school gives me lots of opportunities to make a seemingly normal day feel special.
One way I’m accomplishing this right now is by celebrating the change of the seasons using some adorable seasonal lesson plan supplements by Home and Haven. I purchased the fall bundle, which includes projects suitable for ages pre-k through seventh grade. It has units on leaves, pumpkins, bats and apples. So fall-y!
Of course, I’m sure we will all be happy when we’re back to our normal, not-normal schedule, but for now I’m thankful for being reminded to celebrate all of the lovely things right here in our home.