Monday, July 04, 2011

A Traditional Fourth!


It has become tradition now for our family to participate in our town's 4th of July parade, and this year was no exception.  The kids love walking down the street beside Dominick's truck, handing out candy and fliers while Dominick sprays the hot, sweaty masses who beg to be cooled off with the mist from his pressure washer.

This has been a special weekend for us, as Dominick and I had the treat of a night alone for our anniversary as a friend watched the kids.  Then, yesterday evening the kids all made dinner for us, set us up downstairs with candles and a romantic movie, made brownies and hung balloons, and generally treated us like a King and Queen for the evening.  Their thoughtfulness really touched us, and we know we are spoiled rotten by them.  Not many kids their age would plan for weeks to do something special for their parents.  The other night Matthew even tucked us in bed, a terribly sweet gesture that he grinned over doing for us.  I know I say it over and over again, but we are so very, very blessed.

Tonight we will attend our church's annual 4th of July picnic, which is something we all look forward to every year.  This year it appears we will have clear skies, unlike prior years when  weather was bad and we were not certain if there would even be fireworks.

Tradition is important, for kids and adults alike.  Traditions don't have to be big things, it is often the little things that bind us together as families, as churches, as groups of all sorts.  Our church has Jazz Sunday every year, something that is treasured even if it is not a big deal compared to something like that in larger churches.  We have the tradition as a church of sending our church kids to camp each summer, our Women's Union has its traditions as well.

Our family has traditions, big and small.  We have shared most of them here with you...campouts that still continue at least 1 night a week on the floor of our bedroom.  That will likely be the simplest and most precious of all to each of us LaJoy's.  The kids made shirts for the 4th again, and that too has become tradition.  Our homeschool has Morning Meeting each school day, where we share about what's coming up in our family life, and talk about the day before us.  We all started what will be a new tradition of circling the child or children going to camp with the rest of the family arm in arm around them praying for a wonderful experience for the current camper.  We have our tradition with Mr. Miller, our dear adopted grandpa at Christmas, decorating his tree and sharing a meal together, something we wouldn't miss for the world.  Dominick grows his traditional salsa garden each year, and has perfected his secret recipe :-0 

These are the ties that wrap us up together in love.  Some families don't find it important to repeat experiences over and over again.  For us, like re-reading Green Eggs and Ham a gazillion times, there is comfort in the familiar, there is warmth in knowing the next line...or that the next year we will once again make our shirts with stars and stripes...or that each Christmas as I have for 40 years my grandpa's creche will be displayed and Jesus lovingly placed in a manger there. 

So as the watermelon is being cut and Dominick is slicing tomatoes, as the kids all finish the cupcakes we will take to the picnic with strawberries and blueberries arrayed on top, and as I sit here engaged in another treasured tradition of ours by blogging about yet another Fourth of July, know that all the LaJoy's wish you a wonderful holiday evening and we hope you too are experiencing the fun of traditions long held.


Lenore said...

Happy 4th, LaJoy family!! Love that the kids gave you a special anniversary've got 5 very sweet kids there!! Family traditions are so important! Enjoy all of yours! From our house to yours, we send hugs!! Looking forward to spending some time with you all soon!!

Anonymous said...

I am continually amazed at you and others that respond to your blog who are thoughtful and continually conscious of building families. We seemed to bumble along, never really consciously figuring out how to build family. Or maybe we did and I don't remember.

We were a game playing, book reading family. We also worked together on the farm. We were intentional about teaching values and money management. I see you doing the same with your family and succeeding at the lessons.

May your traditions continue to flourish and grow,