If you follow me on social media, you’ll have seen that the month of October was a crazy one for our family. Which happened to piggyback on September which also jampacked. September was wedding season for me so I spent nearly every weekend away working. Once that slowed, David traded and began a big work project that ate of the entirety of October. He was gone most weekends and arriving home way past bedtime during the week. It was pretty chaotic for a while.
As the days marched on, we realized the need for some quiet time with just the three of us. So we practiced saying “no” a lot to family and friends when they called. Our hours together were short and we knew we had to make the most of them. So we squeezed in short family trips as they were available and made sure to make certain things a priority. Gray may still only be a few months old, but we want him to experience his first year of life to the fullest extent so even if he’ll never remember it, we wanted him to fall in love with his first autumnal season.
So we carved out time here and there to go to local apple orchards, shop for cozy sweaters and hunt for the best pumpkins and mums. I heard someone say the other day, “They will never remember doing these things so early on, but they’ll remember the traditions” and that’s our heart for our boy. He won’t remember stopping on the side of the road to rummage through bins of mini pumpkins this year, but if we keep doing it year after year, he’ll remember that we always did and hopefully, that will fill his heart with the same joy that fills ours when we remember childhood in the fall.
Traditions can never be established without effort. We can’t keep saying, “Oh when they’re able to do x, y, and z, we’ll start doing this or that.” The more we procrastinate, the less important things will seem. Time marches and and truly waits for nobody. Our days are going to simply continue to become busier as our babe grows and adds his own marks to the calendar and even more so when we decide to continue to add to our family. So these moments, though busy ones, in the here and now are vital ones. If I’m relying on these formative years to instill a moral compass in my son, why wouldn’t I take full advantage and also imprint new traditions that will carry on for years to come in his heart and mind?
Traditions also can’t happen by mistake. It takes a lot of energy and thought to make plans. So assuming your family’s most sacred memories are somehow going to fall into place will lead to holidays ridden with chaos. Every season, year is different. That is why we cling to traditions. They bring a sense of stability and consistency. Allowing our calendars naturally dictate how we spend our time will cause us to live an inevitably varied life every year and will in turn allow for the busyness to catch up with us and overcome our schedules. Traditions speak to the importance of making time. We have to count some days as more valuable than others and therefore be sure to allow ourselves to empty calendars and learn how to say “no” more and more.
My baby may not remember seeing his first pumpkin or that he had a sniffle in the chilly air or that he wouldn’t stop laughing as David tossed him in the air again and again, but in a few years time, he’ll know that when the air gets a little crisp and the trees begin to turn, it will be time to mark our calendar for a family trip to the farm to pick our favorite pumpkins and mums for our front steps.
Until next time!