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Family Traditions

Sunday night Juan and I prepared the table to carve a Halloween pumpkin with Hala, our 2-year-old.  We got the new kit they have now where you can choose a design and mark your pumpkin with a sticker stencil (I sure wish they had those when I was a kid!).  My favorite part growing up was actually scooping out all the seeds and the gooey insides.  Unfortunately, Jada, our youngest, was tired and a little fussy at the time so I had to tend to her. 

I found myself getting upset that I wasn’t able to participate in my favorite part – that Daddy was getting to have all the fun and it wasn’t even his idea!  In the midst of those thoughts, somewhere a fresh new outlook fought its way through.  I realized that I didn’t need to have the same experience as I did in my childhood… I now had a new appreciation for the fact that I can experience this Halloween tradition as a Mom.  I was filled with so much emotion – warmth, contentment, happiness – as I watched Hala discover, help and ask questions about everything that was going on. 

It brought me joy to watch Juan as he gave instructions to Hala, his helper, and enjoyed teaching her and participating in the activity with her.  When it was all finished, we lit it with a candle, turned off the lights and took a picture of all their hard work.  It was in this moment that Juan said, “Well, that’s the first pumpkin I’ve ever carved.”  I was astonished.  For me, it was something that was a given – just part of the Halloween holiday.  I couldn’t believe he’d never done it before! 

Hala wanted to go for a walk afterward, and while she was tricking around and I walked along side her, I took that time to savor the gratitude I was feeling for the opportunity to remember my childhood traditions and create new ones with our growing family. 

Traditions are nice, but sometimes we can get caught up in how things are supposed to be.  What’s more important is being in the moment and enjoying the experience with an open heart and mind.  As we move into this holiday season my hope, for you and I alike, is to find that place where we can truly be in the moment and enjoy all that is around us. I hope we appreciate each moment for the experience it brings us this year, no matter how similar or different it is from past traditions.  Happy Holidays!

Juan and Hala

 Family Halloween

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