I spent a beautiful morning recently with this mom and her 8 month old son at Jones Point Park in Alexandria, Virginia. We walked on the trail along the Potomac River and by the Jones Point Lighthouse, chatted about motherhood, and took a rest and some pictures before heading back to their house to photograph their weekend pancake ritual.
My family has been visiting this park since my oldest son was a baby and as I documented this morning with this mom and baby, I thought about the importance of family traditions and how they enrich our lives and our children's. Here are three reasons why you should celebrate and photograph your family's traditions.
Traditions make up a part of our identity.
Family traditions tend to get their start in baby's first year. There are naturally lots of firsts, especially around holidays and growth milestones. But long term traditions get their start in the first year too. Parents start to find their footing, develop confidence, and routines emerge that make life more manageable.
If you're a mom, you're well aware of how rituals and routines are so important to kids (and your sanity). But they also provide a sense of identity and teach children about their family and their culture. These routines may be simple like bedtime reading and snuggles or family dinners around the table. These everyday activities make up the foundation that your kids ground their lives in and they are worthy of celebrating.
They teach us something about what's important in life.
Some traditions are passed on from prior generations, like favorite recipes or summer vacations at the beach. Some come about organically and contribute to making life run smoothly, like Saturday morning grocery trips and a visit to the playground. Whether old or new, traditions are always the result of you, as a parent, making a choice to highlight something that's important, something that honors your family and your love for each other and the life you're building.
This time is fleeting.
I don't need to tell you how fast time is flying. Those stages that feel like they're going to last forever, like nursing in bed before nap time or weekend walks around the neighborhood, are going to pass all too soon. Our kids grow so quickly and are always changing. Sometimes our rituals and traditions change too. Sometimes our kids are too young to remember them, which makes photographing these stories all the more important. Paging through a photo album with your kids and sharing these memories reminds them of how special they are to you and further solidifies that foundation that they are grounding their lives in.
I love hearing about other families' rituals and I especially love photographing them because I know that these memories with their parents are the ones that kids are going to look back on fondly. And someday their own children will too.
Nicole Sanchez Photography works with busy parents in Northern Virginia, Washington, DC, and Maryland to create stress-free photo sessions that take all the loving, fun, and chaotic moments of family life to make beautiful photos and films that families will love looking at year after year. Contact me today to start planning a custom photography experience that's perfect for your family.