The Gift of Song and Tradition

My Best to You
May Your Dreams come true
May Old Father time
My Best To You – written in my mother’s handwriting.

Never be unkind
And through the years
Save your smiles and tears
They are souvenirs
They’ll make music in your heart
Remember this
Each new days a kiss
Sent from up above
With an angel’s love
So here’s to you
May your skies be blue
And your loved blest
That’s my best
To you

These are the words to a song that is quite well known to my family.  It is our anthem of sorts. Growing up my mother and uncle in their most beautiful and angelic voices would sing this song to us at various turning points in our lives: graduations, wedding and baby showers, wedding receptions, baptisms, and even funerals.  It was the song that you had a love-hate relationship with because it ALWAYS made you cry, yet the way the words were sung to you it was if you would be blessed with an angel’s love.

With both my mother and uncle deceased, my siblings and I have taken on the task of singing this song to our children at various points in their lives.  It is now our turn to gift our nieces, nephews, and children with these words of love.  Our children cringe when we mention the song being sung to them, but they humor us and listen and cry and then thank us for the gift.

My sisters and I had the opportunity to sing the song to my daughter this weekend at her baby shower. As I was singing I began to wonder if my children and nieces and nephews would continue the tradition we inherited from my mother. Will they see this song as silly or old fashioned? Will they choose to carry on the tradition as my brothers and sisters have? What will stop them from continuing on the tradition?

I just love tradition and it typically drives many of my decisions.  But while in school, I find making a decision based on tradition isn’t always the best approach. I need to continually think beyond this is the way I have always done things, and move towards what is best for these students in front of me right now. I need to consider how I can make the best use of the limited time I have with these children. I need to consider the purpose, the why, and the possible outcomes. Answering these questions will lead to solutions that make more sense for the situation and the students by my side.  

Traditions do have a place in my life. They give me a sense of stability and order. But sometimes, especially in teaching and learning, I need to let go of what I have done in the past and think more about the purpose in the here and now to make the decisions that will best help me and my students learn and grow.

I am participating in the Tuesday Slice of Life Story Challenge sponsored by Two Writing Teachers. Thank you for the encouragement and support to write on a regular basis.

2 Replies to “The Gift of Song and Tradition”

  1. I want to hear this song! I agree that there is a place for tradition, but there needs to also be a place where we can challenge it and see if it is still meeting the needs it was created for, to see if there is a better way of achieving it. Questioning tradition and routine are the hardest things to do I think.

  2. What a great family tradition. Sometimes giving up traditions in teaching can be hard. I like to think I fine-tune things from year to year, making my traditions better. But, sometimes they can make us feel like we are stuck in rut. Sometimes it is only a fine line that separates tradition from rut.

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