Last night I started a new tradition with my oldest daughter.
I’m a big Star Wars geek, and I’ve been waiting to watch the movies with her for the last few years. With a new TV and sound system set up in our basement, it seemed like a great time to begin the tradition. She’s seven now, and while still a bit young for the themes, I know that by the time I was her age, I was getting involved in the entire Star Wars universe.
In reality, I won’t be upset if she decides it isn’t for her. But there is something about experiencing a love that we had as children much later with our own kids, even if they don’t end up signing on to join us in the future.
She is at the age where she asks more questions than she spends time following the movie, so while I’m not sure whether she’s grasping all that is going on, she is definitely interested (partly because she knows how much this means to me, which is really sweet). She’s also really keyed up about R2-D2 and C-3PO, asking me every few minutes, “When do they start to show up?” She cheered when R2-D2 first appeared. :)
Traditions are funny things. Sometimes they mean more to the people who set them than those who come after, yet there is incredible value with starting and continuing traditions, as long as we understand why we do them, and where they came from.
In our work environments as well, traditions can be precisely what is needed to build a culture of support and caring. When we all come together to celebrate and/or reflect, we prove that we are truly one, and schools, districts, and communities-at-large need that oneness more often than not.
We’re only about forty-five minutes into Episode 1 (I let her make the decision on whether she wanted to start with the first movie in the story, or the first one to be released; she picked the former), and when we put her to sleep last night, she couldn’t stop asking questions about what was going to happen next.
Traditions might not always hook us, but they always give us something to remember by.