October 17, 2013

the importance of rituals...

The importance of rituals. | yourwishcake.com
I recently had the chance to listen to a fantastic speaker at my weekly mommy gathering. She spoke to my heart in so many ways, and she especially made me think a lot about the little moments that fill my days. The things our family does that will hopefully leave a lasting impact on my daughter—little rituals that she'll look back on and be thankful for. 

And the thing is, they don't have to be big, fancy things at all. They don't have to cost money, or have to involve a big commitment or have to be impressive or endearing to anyone else. It's more about tucking familiar little things into the hours of your day. Things for a child look forward to.

At first, I had trouble coming up with anything that seemed unique to our family, but the more I thought about it I realized that there are so many things my daughter gets so excited about within the span of each day. And many of them are little routines that mean more to her than I probably realize.

Special prayers before mealtime, a "family hug" (all three of us squishing together) before bedtime, trips to the used bookstore (and a smoothie treat) on laundry day while we wait for the clothes to dry, weekly story time at the library with familiar songs and toys and games, fruit snacks (always fruit snacks!) when she sits nicely in a cart on shopping day, daddy putting her in bed with mommy every morning before he leaves for work, cereal (always cereal!) for breakfast first thing after she wakes up, outings to the mall (and getting to look through the Sanrio and Disney stores), dance parties (complete with maracas) to country music, getting to run around in her birthday suit after bath-time, talking about "Mickey" (Disneyland) every night before she goes to bed.

All these things (and more) are our own moments, our own special things. I feel a little silly even calling them rituals—but in a way, that's what they are. And without Eisley, they wouldn't happen.

It's so easy to get swept up in all we should be doing for our children these days. Sometimes I wonder if it's even possible to give my daughter the sort of childhood I had—because even though hardly a generation has even passed, things are so incredibly different. And noisy. And overwhelming. And expensive. And scary. When I look back on my own childhood, I can't help but think about how much I appreciated the simplicity of it all. We didn't have a bunch of stuff and we didn't fill our days with so many things. And as a result, I think I was the luckiest girl in the world.

I can only hope Eisley will look back on these years with the same sort of fondness, and will want to give her own children the same things. The more I think about it, the more I realize it's more about keeping myself in check during these early years of motherhood. It's tricky, though. Trickier than it should be, I think.

7 comments :

  1. That's very lovely. I know times have changed but I think we can all attempt to give our kids a great childhood, and it sounds like you're doing an amazing job. All that kids really need is a parent that cares.

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    1. "All that kids really need is a parent that cares." Amen, sister! <3

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  2. This is so good. Thanks for the reminder to recognize and soak up the little moments. xo

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  3. I heart this post on so many levels. Though we haven't started our family yet, we're constantly talking through it and we're always amazed at how much better our childhoods seemed with less.... stuff? Things to do? Time to simply BE children and use our imaginations. Granted, Sean and you come from the same childhood hometown and I think it warrants a whole pile of small town special that I didn't get growing up in the LBC - but just the long days spent making sand castles and rolling down the big grassy hill outside the city's big main library were some of the better moments, ya know? It really is all those little things that not only create tradition, but create YOUR traditions... and now I'm going nowhere with this and need Taco Bell. True story. <3

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  4. Great post. Love all these special little things!!

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  5. You're such a great mom! I know things are so much different now than they were when we were kids, but when kids are lucky enough to have a parent that can keep all those yucky things at bay they can enjoy their childhood without worry. I am sure there are plenty of things you parents worried about when you were a child that you had no idea about and that's why you were so care-free. Its one of the best gifts a parent can give their children.
    I love all the little traditions & rituals. I find that as my children get older some of those little things are going away to be replaced by homework and sports practices and various other after school functions. This is a good reminder for me to bring some of those things back, no matter how busy we become.

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  6. I love this, and as a first time pregnant mom-to-be, it's something I think about often. I get wistful for my childhood. It was simple. I spent my days climbing trees and picking flowers and playing hide and seek. I didn't have a cell phone until I was 17, and even then, it was only for emergencies, and it was stored in my car's glove box. Can you even imagine?! I loved to be outside more than anything, and while we didn't go without, we didn't need much! Yes, I loved Barbies, but I loved my imagination even more.

    I had to laugh at the family hug - my husband and I do this with our dogs right now. And when we welcome this little baby into the world, we'll be a family of 5 - 2 dogs, 2 parents and a baby. And yes, we'll continue to do the family hug. :)

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