I was reminded of this last weekend when my son and his friends celebrated Grapevine High School's homecoming.
Today's post could be a purely funny one. I could rant about the craziness of Texas homecomings and $200.00 mum my son's girlfriend is wearing. We could take guesses at the cost of Ricky's "garter" - worn proudly around his bicep all day... and night! We could laugh at the idea these contraptions are even called Mums, since hidden behind that huge wad of plastic #@!* one could hardly tell there sits a (fake) flower. We could laugh at how, over time, this ritual has gotten so big, the one-time-small-corsage has become nothing short of a long dress!
All of that would be 100% legit. Believe me when I tell you, Richard and I were ill-informed. We spent the majority of last week in utter disbelief that this entire underworld could exist and we could be so unaware. An entire homecoming industry right under our noses and we had NO IDEA!
The shock of "Mums" is begin to subside and here is what I'm left with...
Rituals, with all their impracticality and self-imposed importance, have their place.
- Last week Ricky learned what it feels like to be a small part, in one chapter of someone else's history book. Floats, pep rallies, and yes, even mums are all part of Grapevine's longstanding Homecoming tradition. The longevity of this ritual sits squarely on the shoulders of each generation and their commitment to being a good steward.
- He learned the power of rituals in creating a sense of inclusion and conversely, as we scurried about assuring our German exchange student had a mum too, a sense of exclusion.
- And, not entirely insignificant, on this day - Friday, October 16 - Loren walked the hallways of school sporting a mum - a symbol made especially for her - signifying that someone else thought she shined!
Weddings, the Tooth Fairy, graduations, New Years, and even our monthly Highlowaha ritual all exist to recognize the importance of individuals. They create moments; snapshots in time when the anonymity created by life's hustle and bustle is replaced with an acknowledgment that each of us, in our own right, matters. Even shines!
So what ritual are you committed to and how do you use it to let others know they shine?
Signing off until tomorrow...