Those who stand for nothing will fall for anything.
Back in 2011, when I started celebrating half brithdays as part of our family traditions, I wrote a post about family identity called Family, Inc. It was a silly little post with cute pictures but it planted a seed about defining who we are as a family — and how to capture that.
Years later, I sat down with the girls to capture their thoughts. I asked questions like, “Who are we?” “What does our family do?” “What makes us a family?”
I know – big questions. But their answers were telling.
“We love each other. We are silly. We are kind. We are dog people. We have dance parties.”
And then I added in some of my thoughts (and B’s): We stick together. We are honest. We are loud.”
I think the list was written on the back of a napkin. Literally. But I typed it up and sent it over to my talented friend, Porter, who happens to be a gifted graphic artist. (You can find more of her work here.) She turned our little family identity into a beautiful work of art, stretched across a canvas.
But we weren’t done yet. To make this really special, I asked each of our plan to add their handprint signature, making this art into our family covenant.
We will let the kids write their name on their handprints and then hang the canvas in a place of honor in our house.
Do I think it will keep my kids from fighting? Nah.
My hope is that our family covenant will create a sense of identity for the kids and B and I.
My hope is that I will be reminded to be gentle, to be kind, to be honest, when my eyes land on those handprints.
Years from now, I hope our kids will have internalized enough of our covenant that it becomes the foundation for their individual identities.