Losing my Tradition
As the Australia Day long weekend finishes, I am thinking that one of the things I miss most about moving house all the time , is not having any traditions anymore. It really does suck.
When I was a little girl, we lived in the same house until I was thirteen and my parents split up.
Even though it all changed that year, I have such beautiful and fond memories of our family traditions until then.
Our Christmas tree that we had selected fresh each year always stood in the same spot.
We celebrated Christmas with the same people at the same place every December 25th.
We went to the Carols by Candlelight every year in the Supreme Court Gardens in Perth.
Family member birthdays were celebrated up at the Fred Jacoby Park in Mundaring.
The Easter Bunny would always leave me a Dinosaur Egg in the tyre swing on the back verandah.
My parents would have friends over for dinner every month or so and the next morning I would sneak out of bed and have the stale BBQ chips and nuts whilst rifling through the After Dinner Mint packets to see if any had been missed.
School holidays were spent at Rotto with family friends each year.
Australia Day was spent down at the South Perth foreshore with my parents and maybe a school friend and then I would fall asleep in the car listing to my parents argue about the navigations of getting home in torrential traffic.
Once my parents divorced, it was harder to hold onto these traditions. Celebrating Christmas became a logistical nightmare with my family being separated and having to take future partners family into consideration as well. Family members moved away and individual birthday celebrations were rare. The Easter Bunny came to whichever parents house I happened to be spending Easter Saturday at and my tyre swing had long been thrown out. There were no more Rotto holidays, dinner parties or Australia Days on the foreshore.
When I grew up, I was determined to start these traditions again; they were important to me as I had such fond memories of them as the fabric that held my family together for so long.
I decided to take myself to the skyshow each year, even if I was on my own.
I had my own dinner parties, inviting other friends and family.
I asked friends to go to Rotto on long weekends and nagged boyfriends to come to the Carols by Candlelight with me each Christmas.
It started feeling good to be able to count on certain events each year as constants and when I got married, it was lovely to once again be able to use the Royal “WE” – yes, WE do that every year too
(not like this post of the Royal We )
Hubby and I went to the Australia Day Skyshow, the Christmas Carols, had friends for dinner and bought our Christmas tree together from our local tree farm.
BUT then, Mr Point Five joined WAPOL and once again my love for tradition was uprooted.
We have moved towns every two years, all our lovely antique furniture is in storage and just as I am embracing what one town does for Australia Day or Christmas, we are ripped away and have to start all over again, finding new friends and new ways to celebrate. Whenever we move house I look for the place our tree will go for Christmas and it is important that it is “just right” even if it is only for one year.
I know some people might revel in this way of life, but I am not one of them.
I like things to be constant.
This year for Australia Day it really hit home how isolating moving house all the time is when you have a partner who is always working the festive occasions.
I saw all my friends on facebook having BBQ’s with their long time friends, other online mates enjoying the “traditional” town cricket match or just enjoying a family day at a local river, park or lake and it just made me sad, being home alone with the boys on yet another supposedly festive occasion.
If we were back in Perth, the kids and I could be doing all that too whilst Mr Point Five worked, but I have yet to make those sorts of friends here and there is nothing in this town to do to pop along to for the afternoon like there was in previous towns we have lived.
Sigh – I know I am lucky to have my beautiful family, but its times such as the weekend just past, that make me truly miss tradition and being blissfully rooted in the one spot. It really is a massive sacrifice for country policing as a family, and I am realising it more and more with every move and every year that clocks over for the kids.
I cannot WAIT for the day when we can eventually settle down and build our house of dreams and start creating some family traditions of our own to give our kids all the beautiful memories that I cherish today.
What about you? Are you a traditional person or a fly by the seat of your pants type gal??