We create memories through traditions. The small things at we do over and over again that imprint on our minds. Hopefully, when they are effective, they help us to feel connected and loved. Like that time my sister secretly drove from Colorado to Utah overnight so that I could have a pancake cake breakfast on my birthday. There are many traditions and memories that I have of my birthdays growing up. Like my mom singing me awake with so much excitment I knew, just knew, she was glad I was born and that I was hers. This memory though was not a tradition, and might not even be from my birthday. The strength of the memory isn't in the details. They have faded away through the years with the ever changing tides about my life. What is most important is how totally loved and important I felt that day.
I was in the third grade (I think) doing my school work when a knock on the door brought everyone's attention in that direction. The door opened and in came someone carrying a white bear with a Mylar balloon tied to it. It was for me. My teacher let me keep in on the edge of my desk and my heart was filled with joy. It made me know that my mom was thinking of me and thought enough of me to go out of her way for me.
Why do balloons fill a person with joy? My kids love them too. We currently have a Mylar balloon sadly, slowly loosing its helium the farther we get from Valentine's Day, but I can't bring myself to get rid of it because as each of the children happen on it they start to pull the string and play with it and the joy starts over again. I hope that I can find things that mean as much to my kids.