Tradition . . . Tradition . . . The Mamas! – A Guest Post by Heather Heisig   1 comment

Sorry, I saw Fiddler on The Roof one too many times when I was growing up! For me, the holiday season has always been about traditions. As a girl, I remember so many at Christmastime – making a birthday cake for baby Jesus, the candlelight Christmas Eve service, going to Park City Mall with $100 (!) and getting gifts for all my friends and family, laying under the tree with my brother and looking up at all the lights…there were so many things that made Christmas Christmas for me. And now, I’m the (exhausted, thrilled, frightened) mother of a 5-year-old dude. What traditions am I handing down to him?

I suppose I should say, in the interest of honesty, that my husband and I are not huge on tradition. We are too annoyed with the line to see Santa to stop and wait for the time-honored pic with the jolly guy. I think we both just want to survive this game of life and don’t always get caught up in the small details that make traditions possible. This sounds morose when I write it that way, but it’s not – it’s just the way we live our life. Maybe it’s just that we don’t conciously create traditions. I suppose we won’t know what Henry takes away as his holiday traditions until he’s older, or old enough to tell us about them in a non-Inception-like fashion.

I often worry about this child-rearing approach: am I messing up my child by not giving him these stable experiences, a sense of what to expect each year? Isn’t there something to be said for raising your child with the same experiences, year in and year out – at least at Christmastime? The beauty of becoming a mother is that I got the chance to just chuck it all out the window. Ever since the doctor came in and said the words Ed and I had been praying for – “I think it’s time to talk about a C-section” – I’ve had to admit/accept that I am not in charge here. Yes, my name’s on the insurance card and I control the cookie jar, but I am so far from being the person who makes our lives happen. I like to think that the three of us, as a collective, make that happen…together. And this is the sticking point for traditions. If you wanna have ‘em, you’ve got to be in charge of ‘em.

For the past 5 years, life has just happened – in a glorious, wonderful, crazy way. We’ve had wonderful adventures and I’ve learned so much (lately, about the Justice League), and that’s all been possible because I’ve stopped dictating every second of everything. Life just got to be too much for me to control (if my husband’s reading this, he’s for sure snickering by now, if not outright gaffawing – stop it, Ed).

Looking forward, I hope the traditions we make – whatever they are- are about us, as a family, living life together. And hopefully, that cake part sticks around.

Heather Heisig is a full-time Montessori teacher, mother and wife. She’s also a book enthusiast, TV nerd and all-around goofball. This is her first time in almost ten years writing something other people will read.


Posted December 26, 2011 by Andi Cumbo-Floyd in Life Lessons, Parenting, Relationships

One response to “Tradition . . . Tradition . . . The Mamas! – A Guest Post by Heather Heisig

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  1. I sometimes get hung up about traditions, and get frustrated when we don’t seem to have them or follow them. It’s a new world, though, and really the only tradition that matters is that your holiday is enjoyable in whatever way you want it to be and that works for your family 🙂

    Loved this post! I hope you write more stuff for people to read!

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