I found a little figurine of a lion the other day, in our dryer. It looked vaguely familiar, though I was certain it didn’t belong to us. A few weeks ago, we attended a nativity tour at a church, where the pastor had on display nativity scenes from around the world. There really were all kinds- humans of all colors, shapes, and sizes, but also animals and popular characters, like bears, and the Peanuts gang. I seemed to recall a Minecraft-type creche as well, and that might have been where this lion came from. I approached some of the younger kids, trying to think of creative questions that would get one of them to confess to stealing it. They all seemed clueless. Later I was going town, and thought I would drop by the church with the lion. But it was gone. My four year old ran back to his bedroom then, as if he knew where it was. Once back there, he couldn’t find it, and started weeping! I couldn’t figure out if he was feeling guilty about taking it the first time, or the second time. It is rare to see him so upset, and I thought, at the very least, he has taken our #1 rule to heart- If It’s Not Yours, Don’t Touch It. No solutions to this mystery in sight, but it has been an interesting turn of events.
Today is one of those perfect storm kinds of days-
The two year old doesn’t want to play in her room during school
The four year old wants to be really loud during school
The seven month old doesn’t want to nap during school
After school, no one can find shoes/coats/pants to wear to the library because no one wants to clean their room
…and so on. On the way to the library, I was thinking about my BSF notes talking about our responses to pressure showing what we value most. I wanted something to kill the bickering in the backseat other than me trying to yell over it. So we started singing some Christmas carols, and silly songs like 12 Days of Christmas and Jingle Bells. It worked! Yes, loud, yes chaotic, but it put us all in a new direction.
I wonder what kinds of things my kids will remember of Christmases long long ago. I get a little pressed to create good traditions they will enjoy and remember. However, as I think back on my childhood, some of the most memorable experiences I had that seemed like I did them a lot, I may have only done once or twice. So there is value in doing a thing once. We may not sing silly in the van Christmas Vacation style again for a while, but this one time counted.
“The most binding and powerful…is tradition. Tradition has special strength because it is associated with emotional attachments to family, religion, race, language, and folk history. Tradition appears to be spontaneous and timeless…’That’s just the way things are,’ and ‘It’s always been done this way,’ are the essential ingredients of tradition.” -Volume Library (Government and Law)