…like we would if we were religious.”

One early client reached out to not just trace, but to establish her family’s path to the present. Some unique markers on that West Coast path came to light.

An important job of family traditions is to transport the story of your family. What is a family tradition?

You know the big ones:  Gatherings, rituals, and events that mark spiritual or cultural journeys (communion, bat mitzvah) or times of year (Kwanzaa, Easter, Solstice, Seder).

Repetition of seasonal or annual community holidays and their foods, songs, and rituals (Bastille Day, Thanksgiving, or my favorite: April Fools Day).

But a family tradition can also be daily practice that everyone can expect and count on: asking “what made you laugh today” as they come home from

Or a place. I related when this client talked about her grandmother’s west coast home. Going to grandma’s house meant:

  • anticipation
  • turning down the drive to those familiar sights, signaling the start of a warm visit
  • walking in to that smell: giant chocolate chip cookies with only three chips apiece, haha
  • roaming the house
  • feeding the birds
  • skirting sea roses to get to the beach.

Maybe Gram wasn’t on a regular schedule the way national and religious holidays are, but Grandma counts! The latest news about grandmas gives them credit for evolution itself, and says that while men hunted, “grandmothers and babies were building the foundation of our species’ success – sharing food, cooperating on more and more complex levels and developing new social relationships.”

If you would like to record all your stories and memories about grandma, I have a Family Narrative Coaching plan for that. If you’d like to hear Nana’s memories (and some surprising facts!) we can do the whole project with her.

Get started on getting the story from your mom or grandma on your own with these five FREE prompts.