As parents, we all develop rituals and traditions that punctuate our lives with our kids. Some just come naturally — things we grew up doing and incorporate into our new families, like how you spend birthdays or Friday pizza-and-movie nights. Others are fun new ideas inspired by your parenting experiences or your kids themselves, or passed on from friends (or Pinterest!).
Traditions connect you with your kids (and other loved ones) in a way that’s unique to your family. They set you apart from other families, and pull you close. The best part is when you discover that your kids not only recognize these things as your family’s traditions, but look forward to them. Even count on them. (And you do, too.) Some of the more eagerly-anticipated ones in our house are doing a scavenger hunt for birthday gifts; two specific summer vacations; holiday baking; planting a kids’ garden each spring; a trip to the apple farm each fall; making gifts for loved ones each Christmas.
A friend of mine told me about this ritual she started with her daughter on her third birthday and, of course, I fell in love with it. (Yes, she got it from Pinterest.) It’s a list of 20 questions to ask your child each year on her birthday, with the idea that you’d create a book of them, giving you a snapshot of your child at that moment in time. This is what my birthday letters are for… but easier!
I decided to seize the moment and do it with my kids last night. Here are their answers. It was a totally sweet experience — they were thrilled being asked all these questions. Do it too, and post your answers here. It will be fun!
Anna: Age six-and-a-half
Avery: Age four
1. What is your favourite color?
Avery: Green (though she’s always said her favourite colour is purple before now)
2. What is your favourite toy?
Anna: A plastic bunny (Whaa?)
Avery: Little People
3. What is your favourite fruit?
Avery: Red grapes
4. What is your favourite TV show?
Avery: Caillou (sadly, this is true; luckily, she doesn’t get control of the remote often)
5. What is your favourite thing to eat for lunch?
Anna: Tuna sandwich
6. What is your favourite outfit?
Anna: My polka-dot dress
Avery: My ladybug dress
7. What is your favourite game?
Anna: Find it first!
Avery: Find it first!
(Avery just got this for her birthday, and it’s been a big hit.)
8. What is your favourite snack?
Anna: Goldfish crackers
Avery: Granola bars
9. What is your favourite animal?
Avery: Reindeers (sic)
(Both of these cracked me up. Reindeer?)
10. What is your favourite song?
Anna: “What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction
Avery: “Speak Now” by Taylor Swift
(How have I let my children turn into pop lovers?)
11. What is your favourite book?
Anna: Alice in Wonderland
Avery: Curious George books
12. Who is your best friend?
(They are talking about different Olivias, but I have never heard either talk about an Olivia before tonight. So weird!)
13. What is your favourite sport?
14. What is your favourite thing to do outside? ?
Anna: Play road hockey
Avery: Play with the girls across the street
15. What is your favourite drink? ?
Anna: Fruit punch
16. What is your favourite holiday?
17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night?
Anna: Mee-mees, and her stuffies Kitten and Wolfie
Avery: Mee-mee, and her stuffies Zebra and Wolfie
(They filled these out separately, but started to sound eerily similar)
18. What is your favourite thing to eat for breakfast?
Anna: Life cereal
Avery: Life cereal
19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday?
20. What do you want to be when you grow up?
Anna: A teacher
Avery: A mom