I love to find things to celebrate. Love it.
Ever since the boys were Littles, I've made small celebrations a tradition in our family. My beautiful friend, Dorothy (aka any excuse for a party), taught me this. If anyone has anything good happen, we celebrate. Look, it takes about fifteen minutes and it's fun. So why not?
I thought everybody did this until I met a mum at a concert. We got talking about the HSC (Higher School Certificate in Australia, basically years 11 & 12). Okay, beautiful Canadian and American girls, this is what it's all about: teens in Australia WORK THEIR BUNS OFF for about 18 months straight, including over summer holidays, and I am not joking you. The last two years of high school are constant assignments, high pressure, state-wide exams, and the whole time, many teenagers are trying to get near-perfect scores to get into Uni. It's hard.
So anyway, this lady at the concert tells me her son just graduated from the HSC.
Me: Oh! What are you doing to celebrate?
Her: (Looking at me like I'm a unicorn) Nothing. He might go out with his friends.
I'm like, what the what?!? Nothing?
How Easy It Is
So this is what it looks like when we celebrate (not Instagram perfect at all):
- I set out crystal glasses for all four of us (yes, kids too)
- I find whatever's bubbly, usually prosecco for adults and ginger ale for the Under 16s
- I put on a dress, earrings, and a squish of perfume (Why do little kids love seeing Mummy in a dress? So cute.)
- I turn on some fun jazz
- I whack something on a fancy plate. Anything!! One time it was Maltesers (I was desperate). Or crackers and cheese, or grapes. Or this EASY appetiser my talented, joyful, beautiful friend JJ taught me to make when we sang together in the Honeybees:
(Sssshhhh, it's a wedge of full cream ricotta with a glop of sweet chilli sauce poured over, sprinkled in chopped basil. Try it. It's yum.)
I put everything on the coffee table in our living room and call in The Boys (two boys, one husband). Teenagers have been known to roll their eyes, but I ignore it.
Then we celebrate -- because I want to. And as the locomotive of this Family train, I also matter. If you have young kids or grandkids, this would be an easy family tradition to start. If you have teenagers, I guarantee they'll give you the side-eye. But it's so worth it. When I yell out, "Family Celebration!!" we have a way to switch on and appreciate our lives.
So we have a drink and share crazy stories. My husband tells truly AWFUL jokes and laughs the whole time he's telling them, which is actually kind of adorable.
Here he is, in case you're curious (looking all like...do I have to take this picture, Cat?? And I'm all...YES! Because I love my dress!)
Why Celebrate? Why Bother?
Because we're here.
Because we can.
Celebrating when things are good is awesome. And celebrating anyway in the face of fear, upset, and worry makes me brave. It reminds me to appreciate my good, crazy, unpredictable, imperfect, work-in-progress life.
As we say in Sydney: Cheers, big ears. I hope you have a fantastic weekend and make lots of traditions of your own.