At church today we discussed the importance of family traditions, and making sure the traditions within our families are righteous traditions. The lesson was based on the talk by Sister Cheryl Lant, Righteous Traditions.
Not long into our marriage I asked the designer which traditions he thought we should keep and which we should begin in our own family. He was a bit confused with my question. I understand now. His family has some pretty strong traditions that are held and kept with his extended family. Why did we need more?
Without planning, I think we’ve begun some of our own. We love to bike as a family and take walks together. We also do a lot of cooking together and that is quite fun. Generally I have one or two of the kiddos helping me cook meals. Yes, it is usually messier with help, but also more fun.
A funny tradition we started a while ago is the evening “diaper dance.” When getting ready for bed, somewhere between removing clothes from that day to putting on pajamas, the older kiddos would run around the house in their diapers. They love this. We laugh and enjoy them getting out their final energy of the day. When the builder was potty trained, he would run in his pull-up or big boy pants. My mother gets quite a kick out of their nightly ritual.
For another development goal, I’d like to start recording traditions in the designer & I’s families growing up and ones we now have or would like to create.
During the lesson today I shared an example from this week. The tradition is the gift of priesthood blessings within our homes. Growing up it was common to be a recipient or an observer of priesthood blessings. Whenever someone was sick, needing comfort, or starting a new school year, my father would give us a priesthood blessing. It was something so simple and yet it was something I felt comfortable asking my father for if i felt the need. I received school year blessings until i was married. I learned a lot from these blessings.
Fortunately I married into a family where the designer’s father also gave blessings willingly and frequently. This was a comfort to me. Before the dancer was born I remember receiving a blessing from the designer and his father. With his father now gone, I cherish this memory.
On Thursday afternoon, the designer’s youngest sister, Brittany, had a near-death drowning experience. That night the entire family (extended and then some…) gathered to celebrate pioneer day and a grand-daughter’s 1st birthday. It shook everyone in the family as we listened to her retell the event. I was the last to hear, as we stood outside our car ready to go home for the evening. I was soo grateful that my sister-in-law was safe and quickly felt that reminder that life is a precious gift and how blessed we are to still have her as part of our lives.
As we went to drive home we realized that our kiddos’ bikes were still at grandma’s house and thought it best to go get them then. All of the grandkids and cousins had decorated and rode their bikes in the annual family “bike parade,” (another family tradition), with grandma leading the way on her new blue bike as the grand marshal.
After we pulled up to Grandma’s house, she and Brittany parked into the garage. My mother-in-law came out and asked the designer if he would give his sister a blessing. She had gone into shock in the car ride home and was having a very particularly difficult time. I couldn’t see what was being said as I was in the car but knew the designer needed to stay. So we took the kiddos into Grandma’s house and the blessing was given.
There was a sweet, peaceful feeling in the room. A lot of love. In the blessing Brittany was told that these experiences would help her in her life. It also told her how much her Father-in-Heaven loved her. You could tell how much better she felt afterwards.
Soon, the designer’s older brother had arrived and was hearing the story for the first time. I looked at my mother-in-law and got a feeling that she could also use a blessing of comfort. When I asked if she needed one she said she thought she was alright, but tears were welling in her eyes, and I knew she needed one as well. I signaled to the designer that he and his brother should give their mother a blessing as well.
Another sweet blessing was given. She too was told of her Heavenly Father’s love for her and his gratefulness with the way she has taught, raised, and loved her children. She was reminded that Brittany would grow from these experiences and that she would be protected.
Both the designer and I felt very blessed to have been there. All three of our kiddos had been wonderful during the blessings. We were so glad, because we want them to be a part of this special tradition early on in their lives.
As I write this experience, I am again reminded of the importance of recording life’s blessings as well as the blessing of righteous family traditions.