Growing up, it was always just me and mom. We didn’t have a lot of extended family and those we did have lived on the mainland so we rarely saw them. Because it was just the two of us, we often made up our own (often quirky) family traditions. At Christmas time, we decorated a palm tree rather than getting a new pine tree every year…mostly due to my allergies, but also because we thought it was so funny to see a spindly palm tree done up with angels and lights. Another favoured tradition with my mom was long car ride talks. Whenever one of us couldn’t sleep, or we had something important to discuss, we would hop in the car and start driving, always ending up at the ocean, looking out over the sea and pouring our hearts out to one another.
These are the memories that make up my childhood and are the reason I want to do the same for my daughter, Islabelle. The funny thing about little traditions is that (so far) none of them have been premeditated, they just happen and feel good so you keep doing them over and over until they become such an important part of your life you could never imagine not doing them. They don’t have to be sweeping gestures or cost money, they can be as simple as blowing kisses and hugs through the window of her daycare before I leave for work; something I would never not do now 🙂 Another tradition that has stuck with us has been toe painting night. It’s become a whole to-do with us, the choosing of colours, the cleaning and clipping of toe nails; all done while snuggled up watching a movie together. This little tradition started because I couldn’t clip her toe nails without making something more out of it for her and the movie is really because it’s my trick to get her to sit still long enough for the polish to dry! We love it though. I always paint my toes to match hers and when we wake up the first morning after, we wiggle our toes together, side-by-side, comparing colours and foot sizes “Mine are as big as yours now Mama!”.
I hope when Isla gets older, she’ll remember these little traditions and well, I hope this is something we can continue to do and build on the memories…how cute would a book of photos be of her growing feet, side-by-side with mine??
Do you have little traditions you like to do with your children?
Brooke & Islabelle