School is out, the temperature is up, and summer is in full swing. For some families, it’s a time of heading out on vacation; for others, it’s a time of visiting relatives; but, for others it might simply be a time of keeping your head down and praying you can hold on until the start of the new school year.
Family is a wonderful thing, and, the older I get, the more I understand just how significant it truly is. It’s not simply the big moments that are important, it is every moment – from the sleepless nights comforting a sick child or figuring out just how you’re going to get melted Crayons off the front seat of your classic Chevelle to the turning of tassels and watching teary-eyed as your flesh and blood says, “I do.” Each moment shapes your family, not only in the the present, but sometimes for generations to come.
Traditions are those things we do, time after time, which help to shape our family identity. Family traditions, like America itself, are as unique as the people who carry them out. There is no right or wrong way to create them, and, most often, they come to be without us even realizing it. Maybe it’s the Memorial weekend cousins’ sleepover your grandparents hosted when you were young. Perhaps it’s the order in which your family always opened its Christmas gifts. Maybe it’s that same joke your brother tells every Thanksgiving or the backyard campfire or lobster bake on the 4th of July. Each little one becomes a part of who you are.
As Independence Day approaches, let’s not get too caught up in the busyness of summer and miss taking the time to build family traditions. As frustrated as you may be with the child now standing before you covered in mud or the teenager rolling their eyes while you recount that embarrassing moment in Kroger, just remember that, one day, they will have children of their own, and these moments – both the exciting and the seemingly-benign – will become a part the future generation.
Build more than a home – build a legacy.