Family Traditions by Shanah Ahmadi

July 2024

“In summer, the song sings itself.” –William Carlos Williams


Welcome to the glorious expansiveness of Summer—where the days can roll along languorously and the moments can seem both endless and short-lived, where we strive to balance getting things accomplished with taking long moments to relax. In a dynamic season such as this, we can sometimes wonder if we are providing too much of the work-a-day mentality, when we are supposed to be having fun with our children. We can also find ourselves adrift in a sea of excitement and novelty—with everyone suddenly overwrought and a little unmoored. We can often strike a lovely balance between repose and activity by relying on the beauty and the backbone of family traditions.  

Family traditions can give us a feeling of anticipation and inspire giddiness. Conversely, they  can also help to anchor us, to calm our souls when we are feeling out of sorts. Traditions can remind us of our family values and maybe even persuade us to reconsider what we value.  Traditions don’tnecessarily need to relate to anything festive. They can be very practical and simply relate to the Summer season. These uncomplicated activities that we can look forward  to each year can have a profound effect upon our sense of self over the years. 


Here are some examples of family traditions that are relevant to Summer:

  • Prepare a beverage or dish related to the first harvest of a particular fruit, herb, or  vegetable.  
  • Return to the same stream, river, or lake to swim and/or fish. 
  • Take a hike in a familiar area. 
  • Find constellations related to a summer birthday. 

Joyfully including our children in these seasonal pursuits can awaken their sense of  appreciation—for their growing competencies, the natural world, and their family unit.