December 12, 2018

I haven’t posted in a while. Life with a near-toddler is crazy and I’ve been trying to soak up every last minute of his baby-hood, especially now that we’re in his first holiday season! It’s hard for me to believe that this time last year we were counting down the days til little Mister’s arrival, which we thought would be sooner than it ended up being. Not many people know this, but I’d been in early labor for around a month before he decided to join us earth side. That made Christmas preparations quite interesting, not knowing if they were even needed, really, and boy were my hormones and anxiety out of control. 

But I digress. 

It’s a year later and we’re preparing for another special holiday season, this time with our sweet boy here to celebrate with us! It’s had us thinking a lot about traditions; the traditions we grew up with, the traditions we miss, the traditions we want to create. At first the idea of having our own family traditions seemed like this vast ocean we were going to get lost in; so many options, so little time, and how do you decide what’s worth it?

After my usual “we can do it all! And then some!” ambitions were proven to be a tad bit too much to handle, it hit me: we may not have time to do it all right now, but we have plenty of time in the grander scheme of things. We don’t have to do it all now. The lasting traditions should funnel down to that which is most important to us and the foundation upon which we want to build. For us, we want traditions to be a mix of adventure and simplicity. We want our family traditions to be found in the little moments as well as the big. But more than that, we want our family traditions to be about time spent together, rather than just going through the motions. We don’t want to build gingerbread houses just for the final product, we want to build them for the time around the table talking and laughing and creating together. We don’t want to bake cookies just to eat them (though let’s be honest, we’re looking forward to that, too), but also for the time spent experimenting and guiding and learning together. 

The idea of traditions also became less daunting when I let go of the pressure to plan them all out now; the next 18+ years didn’t need to ride on what I could come up with this week. Instead, we needed to open ourselves up for a more organic experience. What seems most worthwhile to us right now may be not be what seems most worthwhile to us in 5 years, and who’s to say what we enjoy now will be what we enjoy in 5 years, when we’re all a little older, Desi and future kids more capable. We have to leave room for growth, for exploration, for budding interests and, scary as it seems sometimes, for change. Do I hope some of the things we did this year continue on for years to come? Absolutely. I really love our matching pajamas! But I am also looking forward to seeing what our traditions become! I have a feeling not forcing them will allow us more genuine and enjoyable memories, and that’s what’s important to us! Like with most things in parenthood it seems, I’m learning to let go.

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