I’ve always been a fan of traditions. I’m not quite sure why I’m drawn to them? There’s something about memorializing yearly events that gives me something to look forward to and to benchmark against.
I suppose that I celebrate traditions as a parent, much like I do as a friend. I think that these traditions are as important to me as they are now to Kailyn. Here’s a few examples of some traditions I’ve started that I really enjoy celebrating with her.
Celebrating birthday’s are a no brainer. Every parent scrambles to put on an over-the-top birthday for their kids. The first birthday party is the first major milestone as a parent for your kids, and the party is usually pretty extensive. It’s funny because there’s no way the child will have ANY recollection of what’s going on or how much time was spent on that celebration.
Kailyn’s first birthday party was just as I described above . . . over the top. There were probably 70 people there. Most of those people who attended, I do not talk to anymore and Kailyn will never know. A lot of the people came to the party came because they know how important Kailyn is to me, and therefore she became important to them. I respect that. Some even came who didn’t have any kids at all . . . this experience is what I refer to as “instant birth control”. It’s a good look into “what could be”. 😂
The most important thing to me is that she was surrounded by people who loved her family and her. Kids seem to have a knack for feeding off the energy of those around them and the situations around them. That day, she may not have been fully aware of what was going on, but she definitely knew she was loved. That was the goal, and I believe I accomplished it.
Champaign, IL Visit
Champaign-Urbana, Illinois is where I went to college and will always be a special place to me. I never imagined that someday I’d be able to share some of the traditions that I loved so much with the little girl I love so much. There’s a few traditions that I share with her.
- I always eat a few of my favorite restaurants. My favorites are Zorbas, Seven Saints & Legends. Then we take a trip one evening and have custard at Jarling Custard Cup. I’ve been going to Zorbas since 1994. We used to eat there after bio lab with a bunch of my lab-mates. Eating at the same place with Kailyn is so fun. I have so many memories there.
- We always go to the quad and take the same photo in the same place.
- We always go to the alma mater and take a photo in front of it.
These are simple things we do every summer, but it’s something she looks forward to. My mother comes with and she’s such a HUGE part of making memories with Kailyn. I think that some of Kailyn’s best memories will include my mother and I LOVE this. Making sure that my mom has as much time with Kailyn as she can is something that’s really important to me.
A Conversation With Kailyn
Every year on the first day of school, I interview Kailyn. It’s by far my favorite tradition. I’ve been doing this for years. I recently saw that someone else beat me to the punch and had been doing it for a long time before I thought of it. He may have beat me to the idea, but my videos are much better looking! 🙂
Here’s a link to that video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHDAPMw2IXQ
I got this idea because I interview people for a living. I own cameras and lighting so I thought, “Why can’t I interview Kailyn like I do other stories?” So I set up a camera and started my yearly interviews with her. I thought up a list of questions that I could ask her each year, and off we went. The first year she was so nervous it was cute. As she gets older, she’s obviously getting used to the questions and is more comfortable in front of the camera. These videos are some of my most prized videos of her.
I’m going to post a few of these on my Facebook Page and IGTV, but here’s the first one from before she was in Kindergarten.
Repetition, Repetition, Repitition
I think that these yearly traditions I have with Kailyn are important to the bond that we have as a father/daughter unit. There are many downsides to being a single parent (both mother and father). If you’re in this boat, I wish I could tell you that there are no downsides, but I don’t believe that to be true. I WILL tell you though, that I believe that two happy divorced parents are better than to unhappy married parents.
As I mentioned above, I believe that our kids feed off of our energy and emotion. They understand far more than we give them credit for, and maybe even more than they can mentally understand. Divorce is a something that it gives both parents to have the opportunity to be happy, and therefore create a happy environment for your children.
For me, I can attest that I’m the happiest that I’ve ever been and from what I can tell (although I have limited knowledge), my ex-wife and her new husband are also happy. Kailyn gets TWO happy homes, and for that I’m happy for her.
I’m writing a blog on the upside to divorce which is coming soon!
Time is Currency
It may sound cheesy, but time is the most valuable currency I have with Kailyn. It’s something that can’t be rewound, and something that I wish I had more of. These traditions are more than just doing the same thing year after year after year. They’re showing her I care enough to prepare for and plan annual events. She’ll never have to guess how much I love her or to what extent I’ll go to make her happy.
The value of tradition is less about the physical act, and more about them sentimental one. These traditions take time, careful thought, and lots of planning but are so worth it to me AND have a huge impact on Kailyn.
In most every blog I talked about “being present” and that’s a requirement to carry on traditions. When I say that time is currency, I should also not that it’s the currency that holds the most value to me AND for Kailyn. I’m sure you can tell how much these traditions mean to us.
Sharing is Caring
I’d REALLY love to hear some of your traditions if you’re willing to share. Please leave them in the comments below so
Thanks for reading (my shortest blog yet!),