Campbell has been working on an assignment for school this weekend and is supposed to hand it in tomorrow. This assignment asks students to identify traditions and current cultural aspects of their family's and community's lifestyle. At first I thought this was a rather lame topic for a seventeen year old to be working on.
As he was reading his work to me yesterday, I changed I my mind. It was also interesting to hear Campbell's thoughts on his family and community - how his family was either fitting in to the current "expected" culture or how it was not. One of the questions that caught me off guard was to describe a personal habit or custom that he follows that generally isn't popular culture. Do you know what he wrote? He wrote that he goes to church three times a week as his personal habit.
I know that a lot of teens don't go to church but I was surprised that he used that. Maybe I was more surprised that he was telling people he goes to church three times a week. I mean, if I was 17, would I say that was my personal habit? I thought that maybe he would have used sports, like rugby or cross-country running, as his personal habit. If you listen to the reports, a lot of teens don't do sports anymore, so sports wouldn't be a popular culture. It's one thing to follow football or hockey stats but it's another thing to actually play the game. He shared how he goes to explore his personal faith and his youth group activities.
The next part of the question was customs in the house that aren't popular culture. Do you know what her wrote this time? He wrote that his family eats together every night even if they have to adjust the time so they can be there together. I take that for granted. I asked him about it and he said most of his friends don't sit around a dining room table and talk as they eat. They either eat at different times and make whatever there is to warm up in the fridge or their families sit around the tv as they eat. I asked Campbell why he would choose that as a custom. He said that he wants to continue that with his family when he's older, therefore, it's a custom that his family has passed down to him.
He went on to say how his siblings are important to each other. Even when one brother lives in Moncton, that there isn't a day goes by when the other siblings comment on his brother, wife and their daughter. They stay connected through Facebook, Twitter and skype. Now, I look at that and think that that is pop culture. But I guess that's what it is, but for Campbell, this is how he sees how his family can keep a custom alive. He told me that even when Abby turned two this summer, we participated in the birthday party via skype.
He wrote about the traditions in his family like hotdogs on birthdays, parades on Thanksgiving, Santa Bag on Christmas Eve, singing to mom and dad Christmas morning to wake them up and board games together. He wrote about how much he loved being part of a big family because he felt like he was important to all of his family and how each of the family members were so important to him.
It's interesting how much I learned about what's important to my youngest son by a Human Geography class. I think he learned a lot about himself as well. We all need to look at our life, our community and see what personal habits or customs we hold up as a priority. Is it what really matters? Is it what makes you a better person? Is it what makes your family better? Is it what makes your community better? Tonight's a good night for pondering those thoughts, I'd say.