With the 4th of July approaching, I have been thinking about our family rituals during the summer holidays. Boston Pops and fireworks over the Charles River. The National Independence Day Parade in DC. Fairs, concerts, and baseball games from sea to shining sea. Across the country, we parents are teaching our kids about national traditions that will continue to be handed down through generations.
This year, I'm proud to say, our son Adam helped us to create a new family ritual on Memorial Day. As part of his choir, Adam was asked to participate in a plaque dedication ceremony in honor of Army Capt. Anthony Palermo, who grew up in a neighboring town and was killed in Baghdad a few years ago. Watching Adam and knowing how hard the entire choir worked to get every note perfect – having all of these things come together was somehow incredibly overwhelming. I was so moved by the experience. I wasn't just proud of Adam and his achievement. I was proud to be acknowledging a holiday that frankly, we've never celebrated like this before.
I’ve met many military families in my recent travels and through Care.com's work with USAA for military families. After seeing the audience response to Adam's performance (mom bragging rights: he also got a big round of applause for singing the national anthem at his school’s talent show!), Ron and I are determined to make our participation in Memorial Day activities a new family ritual. I love that Adam was the one to introduce it to our family.
What traditions have you handed down to your family? Are there any traditions that you participated in growing up, but have decided not to pass on to your kids? Why did you decide to change a family ritual? Any favorites that you’d like to share with other families?
And check out these summer articles for more safe family fun:
How Young is Too Young to Mow the Lawn? (This one might be more fun for you than for them.)