Rosier - Sept 28, 2023 | Kids Out and About St. Louis <


Sept 28, 2023

Debra Ross

The hands-down best learning tradition my husband and I implemented as homeschoolers is what we call the Birthday of the Day: Every morning, starting when our girls were about 5 and 7, we would start the day by searching Wikipedia to find someone interesting who had been born that day in history. Our kids would do the mental math to figure out the numerical anniversary. We'd talk a little about that person's relevance, point on the map to where he or she had been born, and find a connection between our kids' lives and the person. And bam: Two minutes a day led to a no-fuss-no-muss grasp of history and geography that will last a lifetime. You don't need to be homeschoolers, and it needn't be the breakfast table, for this to be an effective tradition. Do it once, and the information might stick or might not. But do it every day for a year, 5 years, 10 years, like us, and what you get is nearly-effortless cultural literacy.

Keeping anniversaries is our best way to remind ourselves what has happened, where we've been, who we are. Even marking anniversaries of events that don't have anything to do with us personally is a way to connect ourselves with history, and to make history matter. For kids, it's an opportunity to remind them of what has been learned, what is important, and why remembering matters. Younger kids can't do it themselves, but if you do it with them constantly, they'll make it their own personal internal tradition.

And as I always say (to a lot of eye-rolling from my offspring who hear this constantly): If you have the choice to celebrate something good, or NOT to celebrate it, choose to celebrate! Life is rosier that way.

Today is the 27th anniversary of my wedding to my husband David. Like the Birthday of the Day, it, too, was no fuss, no muss: We got married on the new back deck we had built with our own hands (and lots of help and advice from people who knew what they were doing). I told my best friend Anne to wear whatever she wanted as she stood next to me. We borrowed the kids next door as flower girls. The judge had to raise his voice against the drumming of the rain on the tent above us so that our 22 friends attending could hear the ceremony. Every year, we tell our kids that it was perfect, because it was.

I wish you a happy anniversary of whatever you're finding to celebrate this week!