How do traditions affect us as children and which stay with us as adults?
When did lace ankle socks, white patent leather mary jane’s, a new pastel spring dress, kid gloves, and a new Easter bonnet that complementarily matched your grandma, mom, and sister fade out of style? When did waking up early before the birds as your family got ready for Easter sunrise service go out of style? Why do we wistfully look to kids to bring back the nostalgia of our own childhood, and what each new spring brings to a sleeping world: a chance to begin anew? When is the last time you wore an Easter bonnet? My mom was just asking me the other day if I’d be wearing one in a few days—a gentle reminder to the close-knit family I came from where everything was explained to me, and as I guarded the gift of knowledge, honesty, and innocence unknowingly my parents sowed the seeds of the importance of tradition. In the face of an uncertain world, where we are looking for that special someone, and hoping against hope there will be many tomorrows of hidden Easter eggs that you can skip hand in hand together to find…you quickly realize as the pool of candidates dwindles, and as you get a year older and wiser each year, there is something to acting out family tradition.
Often behind traditions, such as what and how our families choose to celebrate what is the beginning of spring for some, and much more for others lies our value and belief system. When we are in the dating years before we find our partner, the importance of family tradition is often overlooked or given short shrift. Especially if we are away from home going to college, or striking out into the work world on our own—we sometimes miss the very essence of who we are as we busily search for anything that does not remind us of our family. After all we’re establishing ourselves and the message we have to share with the world.
If you’re still looking for the love of your lifetime, if you’re in the beginnings of a committed relationship, if you’re newly married, if your babies are young…there is always time to embrace wearing your new Easter bonnet, and to open up the discussion to what keeps your child-like innocence fresh. Imagine in your 20s today walking around in a new Easter bonnet to attract your mate? What about hiding hand-dyed Easter eggs around your home, and hoping your sweetheart finds your favorite one where the tie-died yellow and blue swirl in green patterns—a perfect metaphor for your lives mixing while each of you remain uniquely separate but inseparable where your lives’ meld? Now, in my 30s—married, with our first child—the conversations from our dating years about what we did as kids each time a holiday rolled around passed too quickly. Now as we raise our son, and as the holidays roll by each year, it becomes increasingly important that we honor the traditions we bring from growing up, and establish new ones with our new or growing family.
If you’re still figuring out who you are, and where you fit, and who you want to spend the rest of your life with holidays’ are the perfect time to reminisce about what is important to you to carry on. This goes way beyond searching and getting the perfect Easter outfit. Continuing and then establishing tradition in your new relationships calls us not to speed through life, but to stop and reflect on what is most important to us: the connections we have in our relationships.
The challenge for me as my son becomes more cognizant of the world as it exists outside of his fragile body is to pass on the tradition of what Easter bonnets means to me, while uniquely melding my husband’s spring traditions into what it is for our family. When we are able to infuse meaning behind routines, then we pass on a rich, vibrant history that stays with children as they grow and throughout their lives. Carrying on our traditions even though Easter bonnets and kid gloves may currently be out of fashion will strengthen who we are and become even more important to us as we raise our family. As the buds unfurl, and flowers brightly spring forth through the dead ground cover don’t underestimate the power traditions hold over us. Honoring family traditions reminds us what is most important to remember and pass on to our loved ones, be they in our new families or in our daily interactions in new relationships. We’re establishing our roots in the world, and the deeper our roots go, the more pliable and resilient we’ll be in life to handle all the seasons. Stay true to your childhood sense of wonder and innocence; this is what makes you who you are today, and will help you navigate through what’s important in life and who you want by your side.
Lyndsay Katauskas, MEd
Mars Venus Coaching
Corporate Media Relations