Dad's Corner by Fred Goodall
Creating strong traditions is an integral part of family life. When I was a child, we had many traditions that involved faith, family, and service – many of which I still cling to as an adult.
My mother made sure that we had a firm foundation in faith by taking us to church every Sunday. If the church doors were open, we were most likely there. Although I strayed from this tradition throughout my late teens and twenties, I resumed it once I became a father.
We also spent many weekends doing some type of service project together. These ranged from visiting sick and shut-in people to helping to distribute food at our church’s pantry. My mother now leads a fund-raising team for the UNCF and my kids and I participate in the annual walk-a-thon with her.
The tradition that was probably most dear to my mother was the family reunion. As often as she could, she would gather members of our extended family together for a weekend. We always had a great time telling stories, playing games, and fellowshipping with one another. Family reunions became even more important to her after her parents died. Now we have reunions every other year, and it’s always good to connect with our extended family.
Now that I have my own family, I have continued the tradition of creating traditions!
One of my favorite traditions is our annual Father’s Day routine. Every year, my kids make a Father’s Day card and we gather together to take a photo. I love to look back at the photos and see how my kids have grown over the years. In my first Father’s Day photo, I’m holding my oldest daughter with a sign propped against her belly (my wife made the sign that year). I get a bit teary-eyed when I look at that photo, because holding my little girl and taking that picture really made me appreciate being a dad.
Another part of our Father’s Day tradition includes purchasing matching 4th of July t-shirts for the entire family and scheduling a day to wear them. I don’t remember how we started this part of the tradition, but it’s always fun to dress the whole family alike and go out in public.
We have another tradition in our home called “The Thankful Box.” Throughout the year, each family member takes a small strip of paper and writes something he or she is thankful for. We place the notes into The Thankful Box and read them on Thanksgiving Day. My wife started this tradition to help remind us that there is always something to be thankful for. When I read the sheets on Thanksgiving, it really makes us appreciate the day beyond the turkey and sweet potato pie.
I believe that each family should have traditions that allow each member to participate in a significant way. These traditions will be passed down to future generations and the memories will last forever.
For more musings from Frederick, visit http://www.mochadad.com.
Get to Know Frederick
A father of three who hails from Texas, with the cowboy boots to...
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