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Traditions and the Poly Family
I originally wrote this article right after we moved in together. GoJ
I actually feel a little silly starting this. You see, my quad has not lived together very long and the very word "tradition" brings up an image of something that has been going on a long time. At the time of this writing, we've been involved for a little over seven months, with only six of those weeks actually officially living under the same roof. (Six of those months had involved a lot of staying over at each other's places and spending a vast majority of our time together, but it is not the same as paying the same rent bill and sharing a bank account).
The new home helped. We merged our stuff and are living in a house none of us had lived in at all before. There is still an amalgamation of "stuff" that each family had for a long time. I look forward to the time when we add things to the household that the whole family has bought together.
We also started a business. That made us a legal unit, which also helped in creating something new.
We even considered moving somewhere where none of us had lived before. (I have lived 31 years in our present city, so my roots go pretty deep here). That was rejected. I don't think my new spice wanted to stomach moving yet *again*.
What we do that seems to have gone the farthest to solidify us as a unit, rather than one family joining another, is to come up with new traditions for our own family. It sounds silly, perhaps, but ritual can have its power.
Today happens to be Mother's Day. We had all celebrated it (or not) in various ways, but we now have Our Little Quad's way. My wife and I spend the day doing NO (none, zip, nit) work. We had breakfast in bed, and spent the morning there in bed gossipping and giggling -- mostly about our men. We answered no children's calls, made no beds and just relaxed. In our busy household, this is a nice treat.
The Day in Bed is actually a continuation of a tradition of Our Little Quad. You see, The Beast had his thirtieth birthday while we were packing to move. Getting into our new house was almost prohibitively expensive, so an elaborate birthday celebration was right out. The Beast said that what he really wanted was a day in bed being waited on -- complete with good food, movies and other entertainment. So, on his birthday, we gave him a bell with which to summon service. A few days after the move, once we were settled enough, The Beast got his day in bed.
When discussing what to do for Mother's Day, both of we wives commented that The Beast had such a good time on his day in bed that we wanted one, too. I expect this is going to become a tradition for birthdays, Mother's Day and Father's Day. I sort of hope so. It's fun.
Of course, your family and mine may not share any tastes, but it is important to make sure that you do have your little traditions, and your big ones, to bring yourself into focusing on what is the most important thing in your life -- your family.
Another custom, instituted for the children, was that on birthdays, a the one having the birthday would give the sibling a small present. This has become pretty popular
Holidays are interesting in our house in part because no-one really seems to share a religion. Christmas is sacrosanct to me because it is my birthday, but my wife is a Pagan, so Christmas is no big deal to her. I, personally, have no religion to speak of, but we all pretty enthusiastically celebrate Samhain. Hey, any excuse for cakes, ale and a bonfire sounds good to me!
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