The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of a new grandson, the deluge of Spring rains and the dance between downpours to keep the grass cut, as well as the desire to be out in the sunshine when it finally got its turn. I’ve put my blog writing near the bottom of my priority list only because that’s just where it ended up. But today, I wanted to share with you a little “ceremony” my husband and I did to honor our grandchildren.
My husband and I do not celebrate the major holidays like most folks. For one, as the non-custodial parents of our children, we’ve learned to adjust to not having our children on major holidays and because of that Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter lost their excitement. And secondly, it just isn’t our way to do what everyone else does, we like creating our own version of celebrations. For instance, in place of Christmas, we have dubbed a weekend in January our Family Fesitivus. We stole it from Jerry Seinfield but we made it our version of Christmas. We still gather our family together, we still share gifts (my husband and I enjoy making custom gifts for our kids), and we eat really good food. It suits our lifestyle and values.
Despite not having holidays with our children, we have tried to think of ideas to celebrate our kids in more non-traditional ways and one of the ways we decided was to plant a tree in honor of each of our grandchildren. Our goal is to take a photo of us and them with their tree every year to see how both child and tree grow and mature. (At some point they’re going to think it’s lame, but hopefully they’ll indulge us). This past Saturday we had our children and grandchildren over for an indoor barbeque (thanks to more of that Spring rain), but we managed to grab a non-rainy hour or so to run outside and get photos of our grandchildren with their trees. The photos above are of Liam (2), Ellie (8 mos), and Kaden (3 wks). Adorable aren’t they?
Since then, I’ve been asked if there is a special reason for the tree planting or did we just plant a tree. As with anything I do, there is always a deep meaning behind it. And so I wanted to share what I wrote in each of the photo albums that we will keep through the years. I used the original text when we planted our first tree for our first grandson, Liam Andrew. f you like it, please feel free to use it word for word or change it to suit you and your family.
THE PROMISE OF A TREE
This tree was planted in May of 2015, in honor of you, Liam Andrew Egolf.
On the day you were born, you brought so much joy, happiness and love to our family that we wanted to symbolize our love, nurture and care for you, our very first grandchild and grandson. So we planted this tree in your honor.
As this tree develops its roots and they grow deeper into the soil around itself, we want you to know that in our home, arms, and hearts you will always have a deep connection. When life gets stormy, just as the tree anchors its roots into the soil, may you remember that Pappy and Tattoo will always be a place where you can go to feel safe and secure.
As the branches grow and reach out toward the sky, may you always grow and learn and evolve into a solid young man. Just as the tree takes in water and sunshine, may you learn to absorb the good and healthy things in life so that you can project outwardly that which you are internally. It is our promise that we will show you Love and Light so you may know how to recognize these things in this world.
And just as the tree endures storms, you too will endure hard times in your life. But know this, a tree continues to grow and flourish despite broken branches, and so will you Liam. You will use the storms of your life to find your strength and courage, and grow into someone who will never let these things defeat him, but continue to grow stronger just as this tree will.
This tree will grow tall, reaching new heights, rising above all others. And you will too Liam Andrew. Each moment, each day, each month, each passing year, you will grow taller. But not just in height, also in wisdom, in courage, in strength, and in character. And as Pappy and Tattoo will care for this tree, we will care for you as well. When a branch needs pruned, we will do so lovingly and carefully, just as we will advise you in your life when you need us to.
So grow strong and tall, just like Liam’s Tree!
I hope you enjoyed this! Please feel free to comment with non-traditional traditions you have done for your grandchildren, or any other ideas for non-traditional families!
Until next time,