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Old Traditions in Modern Times
There are times in my life when I sit in awe of the beauty and magic of all that is in my world. Friday nights are, frequently, one of those times.
A few years ago, I chose to enroll my daughter in a school that had a philosophy that matched mine more closely. From our three years at The Open Classroom, many delightful things have arisen. Aside from the fact that my daughter was able to find, once again, a love of learning and has become a self-directed, ambitious and responsible student, we each have developed lifelong friendships that enrich our lives.
When Kaitlyn and I walked into Gaby’s classroom that first day, I knew I had found a Soul Sister. There before me was a woman who demanded, earned and gave respect, took no guff from anyone and, at the same time, melted my heart all at once. Over the days and weeks to come, she became a very dear friend and the woman who would eventually inspire me to return to school and explore my passion for teaching.
I now view Gaby, her husband, kids and extended family as my family. We celebrate important events together, travel together and spend time together on a social level. And, from all this has sprung a tradition that has filled my life with so much joy – Family Game Night. On Fridays, the “Saxton Family” – of which, Kaitlyn and I are now blessed to be honorary members – get together for games. The kids congregate in the basement for Wii and the adults gather in the dining room for board games.
The nights are filled with laughter and love and conversations that explore the full gamut of topics such as the intense and all-abiding love of a parent for a child to situations that are, ultimately knockworthy (a term coined by Gaby meaning the situation you find yourself in when you are at a public place and enter a restroom that should be locked because it is occupied and you catch a stranger in the middle of their business) to silly experiences in the classroom because many of the family members are teachers.
The gift of this recurring event is the sense of “family” that prevails in my week because of Family Game Night. Kaitlyn actually plans her social calendar around the event, as do I. Fridays are left open because we want to go to Family Game Night. It has enriched our life and added a profound depth of love and joy that can only come through the ongoing choice to be in connection with family.
Life is speeding up and in the midst of that, humans are losing sight of the oh-so-important aspect of connecting with one another on a person-to-person level. The word “family” traditionally speaks to the biological experience and I was blessed to be born into a family of people whom I adore. In my world, my “family” has evolved to include those whom I love and have chosen to be family, as well. If you’re one of those people who have “no family” then it is time to create one and then I invite you to create traditions like Family Game Night in your life – simple events that allow you to gather your “family” together and simply BE.
It’s good for the soul.
© Angie K. Millgate 9/18/11