The older I get (and I feel old even writing that…) the more I realize I really value traditions. It’s important to me that we as a family and and extended family have rituals and places that ground us. My husband’s family has been going to Higgins Beach Maine since he was slightly older than our daughter and it’s become a pivotal part of our summer. This time, we stayed in the same beach house where he used to stay. Sitting on the same porch. Sleeping in the same rooms. It’s my first time in this house, but it’s amazing seeing the comfort and ease that he and his parents have here- settled back in a place that has history.
We have our own history here. The first time I came, it ended up being our engagement trip. We came back the next year to honeymoon. The year after that we brought his parents back and shared the experience as a new family. The following year, we brought our daughter, then only a few months old (pictured on the left above). Last year, my father was able to make it over for two of the days. This trip, we’ve added my husband’s closest friend, his girlfriend and her daughter, along with close friend and his new girlfriend. It’s a staple of our summer and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Now, this doesn’t mean its entirely easy. The week leading up to going away is full of last minute preparations. Finding a house sitter. Doing all the laundry. Packing for the beach. Getting ahead with work. It feels like a thousand steps just for one week. Then there’s a long drive that this year didn’t include a nap for our two year old. She in fact, not only didn’t nap, she wouldn’t go to sleep until almost 10 and was wide awake at 7 (unusual for her to not grab twelve hours- don’t be mad…). Her first beach day, she played full speed on that beach from 11-2. Finally, after a snack and a cajole, she gave up the ghost and put in a respectable three hour nap. Walking back to the house from the far end of the beach, I could see her calories burning off her. I could see the energy draining. She loved every second of it.
We’ve been working on potty training, and one of my concerns leading up to this week was that all the progress we’ve made would be lost with the change in routine. Then I realized traditions are routines. This trip is just as important as potty training. Her spending time with her grandparents in the same way her dad was raised- experiencing the same places, tastes and sounds is important. We might lose a little potty progress, but we’re gaining a foundation on which we can build a strong sense of family. Of tradition.
She’s too young to really remember this trip (which boggles my mind), but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have value for her. She’s learning about the ocean, she’s learning about herself. She’s growing every second of every day. It’s this part of her life that I’m so thankful for the work anywhere opportunity that Beautycounter affords me. I’m so thankful for the safer sunscreen the kept her protected all day (though in my rush, and in true mom fashion, it only protected the parts of me I remembered to apply…whoops.). It made my heart so full when her dad and grandma came back from the market and grandma shared how adamant her dad had been about organic and safer food for the week (even if I can’t quite convince him to switch all his personal care to safer, it shows he’s listening at least a little).
You are what you consistently do– establishing family traditions, family values, and healthy habits will set you up for success. For other tips on how to lead a fuller, healthier and happier life, be sure to check out my e-book- click here and I’ll send it your way!