Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sunday Dinners and Lullabies

Welcome to the December Carnival of Natural Parenting: Let's Talk Traditions
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama.

Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

I've been thinking long and hard about what traditions our family has. Off the top of my head I couldn't really think of anything besides Christmas things {it's that time of year after all!}. Upon further thought, I was delighted to realize that we do in fact have many little traditions that make our family life quite memorable. In the early fall we go apple picking. We have pictures of these moments since Maddie was 16 months old. In the winter we celebrate Christmas. This is a time of year full of family, food and making memorable memories. One little tradition that has stuck over the years is that my parents, brother and our little family do a "Secret Santa" gift exchange which is always fun, and helps reduce the consumerism around this special holiday. We also enjoy sledding and skating and building stuff out of snow. Winter is actually only enjoyable to me because of the kiddos! In the Spring we start planning the garden and start seedlings indoors. We so enjoy the anticipation of the end of winter, looking forward to the warmth and explosion of new life. In the Summer we get out of the city and head to Ken's parents' cottage whenever we get the chance. It's the perfect place to relax and spend time in Nature. Every year we can do just a bit more with the kiddos and I look forward to the day when we can go on kayak excursions and exploring the rivers in the area. Summertime is also full of swimming, playgrounds, beaches and picnics. Our favorite thing to do is pack up a lunch and head to the playground where we stay until it's nap time.

All these are the ways in which we enjoy each season.

But I also have to share two of my most favorite, everyday, simple-but-lovely traditions.

Every Sunday we head over to my parents' home for dinner. This tradition started a long time ago, I honestly can't recall when. Maybe it's just the way things have always been I do remember though that when we were dating, Ken would come over and have Sunday dinner with us. And it has stuck all these years: I moved out and got married, my brother moved out, Ken and I had a baby, and then another. And all through these years my amazing mama has prepared her delicious food and welcomed us into the comfort of their home. Sometimes others join us too. Friends, other family members, or new friends. But it's always a lovely time. And I honestly look forward to the day I can do the same for my children and grandkids.

And every night, I sing to my kiddos before they go to sleep. Over the years we have sung different songs, but a few are always the favorites and often requested. Sometimes I even make up songs. I love lulling them to sleep with the sound of my voice. It may not be the most amazing voice ever, but to them it is. It's comforting, soothing and familiar. It relaxes them and tells them everything is safe because these lullabies are the perfect bookend to the day; just as they have been since they were in my belly.

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  1. I love singing lullabies, when Bridget was a year old she was hard to get down to sleep and our routine included a couple of stories and 6 or 7 different lullabies. Somewhere along the way I experienced a night where she was still struggling to fall asleep and I was tired of singing the songs - so I made up a little lullaby called dream fairies. It has become a favorite and some nights now she crawls up onto her bed and puts her head down and the only words she speaks are her request - "dream fairies"

    I also love the random other made up songs that have been sung to her ussually during moments that we are both a little distressed by the fact that she is not asleep.. wish I could remember some of those songs now.

  2. I really like the idea of a weekly family dinner. My father-in-law's family in Georgia do that every Friday. I'd like to see if we could do something similar up here someday.

    We sing songs before bed, too. Beanie has her favorites, but lately has been asking for funny songs about what we did during the day.

  3. Awww, I just got a little misty-eyed reading about your lullabies (sniff). I alternate between singing lullabies and whispering (memorized) good night books to Kieran. Sometimes music works, sometimes he needs just the soothing sound of the spoken word.
    And I wish we could do weekly family dinners. I've talked to both grandparents about regular dinners, but so far no one has bitten :( Maybe I should just open up OUR home and see who shows up...

  4. Oh I love the idea of Sunday night dinners with extended family! SO jealous that you are able to do that. What a special thing.

    I think I also agree that winter time becomes more enjoyable when you have kids. Of course, we don't get much snow in Seattle where I live, but when we do, I totally turn in to a kid again!

    So glad I found your blog through CarNatPar!

  5. You've really inspired me with this post to think small when I consider what traditions we have. I also do the lullabies thing, and you're right that it really is a beautiful tradition — but it's so easy for me to forget that our kids come to see it that way! Thanks for prompting me to think about some of the traditions that come with every season and everyday life.

  6. How lucky you are to live close enough to your parents to have weekly family dinners! What a great tradition! I, too, have so many happy memories of singing lullabies to my children when they were very little. When they were older, we sang together - and that was wonderful, too!
    Deb @ LivingMontessoriNow.com


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