I don’t know if other parents think or work hard to establish traditions, but I know we’re making a conscious effort to continue my families lake going tradition. Well, it wasn’t our tradition, it was our life. Even though, as a farm family, we were bound to the laborious demands of the season, we (meaning-of course- my parents) still managed to eek out the time and resources to maintain and enjoy the cabin.
The cabin. The Cabin. In the past few years, we’ve expanded this tradition to include an annual week at the lake for our girls. These first summers have been light on the lake living. The girls are notorious for being difficult to transport, and babies have less freedom and far more hazards at the cabin than in their own homes. As they grow older, however, this will change.
Our long week at the cabin, no The Cabin, was full of beautiful, extended hours of beach play, frog & snake hunts, silly water games, and visits with lots of family and friends in this little area of our childhood.
We couldn’t have planned a better week. Maya followed the rules of the cabin really well (just safety rules, grandma and grandpa and the rest of the family relaxed the sweets restriction and tv rules that await our homecoming), the girls slept pretty well, and Elliot took her first true steps at the cabin.
It is still a lot of work to plan, pack, transport, and care for the girls on location, but it is work that pays off with the best of childhood memories. And we frequently caught glimpses of what this tradition may look like as the years roll forward and the girls are sturdier, better able to play with a bit less supervision. At some point we’ll even be able to leave them for a week or two to do more visiting, splashing, and exploring away from us.
Both at The Cabin and The Farm, it’s a wonderful feeling for me to share the spaces, secrets, and games of my own childhood with my girls. It’s a sense of place and continuity that not every kid gets to have. Especially when we head back to the farm that has been in our family for 100 years, passing the school that saw the graduations of most of the girls’ extended family.
I realize that our loved ones in the area wish that we would divide are time more generously among them all, but we are truly grateful for the many hours we spent with no agenda, no designated visiting, or performance expectations for the girls. Free, uninhibited summer play was a spectacular gift. And interspersed with all of our loved ones, it is growing into a much-loved tradition.
Aah, but it is good to be home!