Sitting in a class literally dedicated to all the problems in society- we were asked about our cultural and family traditions. I was at a loss because I’m western European, a fairly diletted culture:
A fairly unknown German heritage (accompanied by a very German great grandmother by the name Johanna Metzel , AKA so German we couldn’t trace it), a strong English heritage (my grandmother who I highly resemble with a very British name- Eleanor May Atteberry [Hempel]), and a comply traced Irish side (my mother’s name being Kathleen Marie O’Bryan [Hempel]) dating back to an Irish king. My bucket list contains one thing only- to travel Western Europe in search of my family heritage.
Back to my class, I sat trying to think of things my family does. On Christmas we hide a pickle ornament in our tree and the first person to find it gets to open the first Christmas present. It’s German tradition. Talking to my father I realize it’s not actually a tradition and actually a myth. My only tradition is a freakin’ myth.
Family has always been important to me. We live it, breath it- hell we moved states for it. My friends and family are two of the things that keep me going, even when I want to give up.
I looked at the assignment, and quickly scribbled down “drinking” under traditions. First as a joke, but I realize now that it’s not just bourbon and coke that is a tradition (though at this point my family should consider buying stock in Very Old Barton)…
It is the time spent together, as a family, which we consider and important thing to pass down. To have family dinners for birthdays, where we cook and laugh so hard we cry. Sharing and rejoicing in the little moments together as a family. The birthday parties, football games, weenie roasts, barbeques, and holidays. Though alcohol is always involved in some way, the most important part…Is being together.
So one day, I hope that future generations of my family can sit together, laugh, and drink whatever alcohol they so choose, and share stories about their parents, crazy grandparents, and eccentric family members (Crazy Cat Lady Cousin Katelyn), and forever carry on the tradition of what it means to be a part of my family.