Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Making my own traditions

(This was from the day I left for my trip almost 2 weeks ago... I wrote it in the airport as I was waiting for my very late flight to depart. Over the next few days I will try to post the Guatemala trip blogs I have written but not been able to post due to my lack of internet service while out of the country)

Last week my little sister and I celebrated out one year anniversary. At this point we have made the required time commitment that the big brothers big sisters people asked of us and so we are each able to decided if we want to continue or take the chance to say good bye. I couldn’t imagine saying good bye and walking away from Michaela. I feel like I have worked so hard to get this child from being kind of shy and not talking a lot to being the chatty cant stop her random train of though girl that she is today when we hang out.  I remember back to our very first outing. We went to the park she was really into swings and monkey bars and sometimes she would want me to watch her do stuff or push her or just swing with her. It was a fun day and I instantly knew that she would be a good fit. What I didn’t know is that she was really this totally different little girl someone who is smart, and funny, and independent, and shy, all the things that I have seen in myself before.

Anyways, so yeah one year together now. I so couldn’t imagine my life with out this little girl either its amazing how quick someone becomes a staple for you. We have a match coordinator who checks in with us monthly, and I think so far me and Michaela have made her job fairly easy, because I never seem to have many problems. Well I guess I can’t speak for them, just myself, but I never seem to have many issues. This last phone call she said something that made it seem like maybe Michaela and her mom didn’t want to continue on with the program and have Michaela be my  little any longer.  It was weird this feeling that I instantly got, I was as close to heart broken as I think you can get. But lucky it was just a weird miss understanding and after talking to Lindsay (her mom) we figured out that they want to continue with me just as much as I do them.  I am glad because just the other day when I and Michaela were out at the science center together during her spring break, I told her that I would take her ice skating again at Christmas time. She was so happy  and already super excited even if it is more then half a year away. I told her that I would take her every Christmas as long as she was my little sister. It would be our tradition together.

I was driving home thinking about it and it hit me that right at that moment I had accomplished something so easily that I had been working most of my adult life to achieve. I made something that was my very own tradition. I mean you know that traditions exist and most times they are passed down from your parent’s traditions. It’s sometimes not something that you get to choose but  just how it is or what always happens. When I was a kid my family had a ton of traditions. We spent most holidays with the same group of people. At Christmas time we made gingerbread houses and went ice skating with these same families year after year. We would open presents and have a big family breakfast first, then head over to one family for Christmas eve and another for Christmas dinner.  We always got crappy nuts and oranges in our stockings while my friends got presents and candy and I was always envious. At Easter my dad hid eggs around the house and my mom would do the baskets.  Almost always you could expect to find one of the Easter baskets in the bath tub almost like clock work. Even more predictable you could bet that the chocolate bunny would have its ears bitten off cause my mom couldn’t have resisted.   When I was Michaela’s age I would have just figured that these traditions would go on forever. But they didn’t seem to for me.  My father died and I realized that a lot of the holiday stuff was a result of his effort and planning.  It wasn’t like my mom hated traditions but for some reason she didn’t seem to feel like it was necessary to work hard to keep them going. Or heck maybe it’s just that we grew up and we stopped caring.  And eventually she met someone else  and started to make new traditions with him that didn’t seem to include her kids anymore.

The problem for me isn’t that we abandoned the traditions but that we now can’t seem to find a way to bring them back. We never see the same families for the holidays that I grew up with being a staple for any holiday event. We never go ice skating or make gingerbread houses, even though now we have a few little kids who might thoroughly enjoy it. We never head to an Easter egg hunt and watch the little kids gather candy eggs frantically as I did when I was a child. Heck in my family, we rarely mark a special occasion with a card and if you are lucky enough to get one on time its even less likely..  Maybe it’s the fact that I’m older or that I’m at an age where I could have my own kids, but for some reason this lack of tradition has really bothered me the last few years it like I find myself really missing them and like I said seeking people and things to incorporate into my like on a regular basis.   That’s why I am so glad to be able to have the chance to start one of my very own with some one who is special to me.  And I’m excited to be able to put the same kind of time and effort into this tradition as my father did for the ones we had growing up. Because I want Michaela to look back and remember how every year she got to go ice skating for Christmas and heck maybe someday she can be telling her own children about  how the tradition got started.

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