Tradition. I love that word. It conjures up an image of one of the greatest traditions I believe exists in a university setting. It is Script Ohio. Script Ohio is the signature formation of The Ohio State University Marching Band. This year marks the 75th year of this tradition. When I sat in the football stadium during my college career I was filled with pride as I watched the marching band take to the field and create this awesome visual. Band members weave and curl around each other. Outbursts from thousands upon thousands of fans, in tune with the driving force of the drums and an all brass band, are emotional and meaningful to fans both young and old. Funny thing though, it was actually the Michigan marching band (boo!) that first put this beautiful formation on the playing field. They may have formed a script Ohio, but it was The Best Damn Band in the Land (known to a true fan as TBDBITL) that created Script Ohio. It’s a tradition that has truly stood the test of time.
One of the definitions I found for the word tradition was “a continuing pattern of culture beliefs or practices.” Many traditions have been invented on purpose; much like the tradition of Script Ohio.
In our society we do all kinds of things out of “tradition.” Marriage ceremonies, holiday customs and foods, and Sunday dinners are examples of traditions. But, what I think sets tradition apart from what may appear as no more than habit is the meaning behind it. I remind my kids to brush their teeth every single night before bed and every single morning too. Is this a tradition? I surely hope not, or I need to add much more meaning to my life. I think a tradition is something we do on purpose because we place meaning on it.
After a meeting with our Executive Pastor of our church, John and I were encouraged to begin family traditions (thanks JP!). These are intentional acts that we have thought out…thus placing meaning on what otherwise may come across as habit. We have begun having a date night at least once a month (woot!!). We are having a family night—that may be watching a movie together or playing a board game—once a week. We are saying grace before meals. We joined a gym so that we can spend time together as a family being active and staying healthy. We joined a family Lifegroup that meets once a week.
It’s through these intentional acts that memories are made, thus the deeper meaning of tradition. The acts we are developing can be something that our kids decide to do within their own family one day. I think too, upon reading further about traditions, that the development of them is right when it reinforces some basic principles that are desired for us (humility, thankfulness, kindness, togetherness, and love to name a few). I want for Sydney and Elliot to remember pizza lunches on Sunday afternoons after church, cozy nights on the couch with popcorn watching a movie, counting money for the bank of the board game we play, and holding hands around the table to give thanks.
I would love for one day to take them to the Horseshoe to experience Script Ohio. I know it’s through practicing traditions that they will have an appreciation for other traditions. Traditions give them a sense of belonging, connection, and commitment. All important traits John and I want to develop in them.
What are your family traditions, or what traditions will you develop?
Thanks for reading.