Posted by Len Ramirez, Total Teen Dad | Posted in Total Teen Dad | Posted on 04-06-2010
Tags: 49ers, birthdays, celebrations, communication, connection, family, Traditions
I thought I’d write about traditions today because I feel they’re increasingly important as kids grow older and society is moving towards desocialization with computers, hand-held devices, and cell phones capable of replacing our need for face to face communication.
If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, you should read Dr. Bob Livingstone’s Analyze This column entitled “The Electronic Culture: How Has It Affected Our Children” in the March 2010 issue in the POP Archives.
I believe what we really crave is connection, best obtained through personal interaction. When my children were growing up, we celebrated every birthday and holiday with as much family and friends as possible. It was a tradition I grew up with and that all of our friends learned to ‘expect’ from us even as the kids grew much older.
These were times everyone knew they would see each other and have time to eat and catch up with each other’s lives.
It wasn’t just the birthdays and holidays. We sent invites out when the 49ers made the playoffs so we could all watch them win together. We had such large gatherings, neighbors were walking into our livingroom to see what was going on!
Of course, this doesn’t have to just pertain to homebound celebrations. Camping trips are becoming more of a tradition for us. The more we go, the more others want to go with us.
When I grew up, our family pretty much lived very close to each other. As time went on, family began to move further and further away from each other for various reasons because priorities drove them that way. Traditions fell aside.
This made me sad, so I grew determined to ‘fire them up’ again so my children would experience what I did. They would learn the value of having family and friends together, the chance to be ‘lifted up’ and celebrated, and the joy of seeing those you love frequently!
I’m sure you have traditions in your family that have fell aside because we’re too busy. It could be cooking a special plate together that has been handed down through generations, going fishing on a river your parents used to take you to every summer, or stringing popcorn together to put on the Christmas tree like you did with your mom and dad.
Even as teens now, my children, er young adults (excuse me!), recall all of those memories more fondly than the trip they took to Disneyworld. As fun as Mickey is, he’ll never replace the hugs of 60 relatives and friends coming through the front door to celebrate. The smiles and lipstick left on the cheeks outweigh anything you can buy at the electronics store.
After all, those eventually break. The bonds created by making that family Chicken Cordon Bleu with mom, watching those 49ers games every Sunday with dad, and picking up that ham, swiss cheese, and spanish olives at Palladino’s Deli every Sunday with grandpa will live on forever.