Continuing the Tradition
Author: Talma Stormphoenix
There’s a great deal of anticipation in the air of my home right now. My daughter, my eldest child, is about to become a mother. Her pregnancy has taken me back to when I was pregnant with her. I was so excited to see my baby I just thought about how the little person was that I was carrying.
Was my child a boy or a girl? Would my child have ten finger and toes? Would my child be healthy? Did I eat right; walk enough? What would my child look like?
All of my questions were answered the night she was born. She was born healthy and strong and beautiful.
Now seeing as I was still Catholic at the time it was expected that I get her baptized and I did even though it wasn’t something that I really wanted to do. I had become more dissatisfied with my faith then but still didn’t have any alternatives in mind.
I had no idea that Wicca or any other Pagan faith existed. The Internet was still years away and I had no idea of where to go or to look for other information. No idea that I could even search for what my heart yearned for.
Before I found Wicca I had three more children but I did feel strongly enough to not get them baptized in a faith that I didn’t agree with.
Now about seven years ago I told my daughter about being Wiccan and she confided that she had also found Wicca. Talk about a pleasant surprise! Ever since then we’ve been studying together.
Now that I’m going to be a grandmother we’re going to teach her child, her daughter, our faith. And that is what brings me to the debate that has surrounded other Pagan parents and grandparents.
Do you teach this new child about your Pagan faith to the exclusion of others or be more open-minded and teach about all others?
My daughter wants me to perform my granddaughter’s Wiccaning and I will. I see no problem with teaching her Wicca first and then when questions arise teaching about other faiths that are more dominant in our society. In this way this little girl will be able to function without feeling that we’re hiding anything and she’ll understand that while not in the mainstream there’s nothing wrong with our faith.
My daughter was ten when she found Wicca and came to it on her own and the truth is why shouldn’t we teach her daughter the same things that we learned by trial and error? I can’t imagine teaching her what I was of other faiths. The only thing I was told about other faiths was that they were wrong and those folks were going to ‘hell’ but I did differently with my daughter to the consternation of my family and those lessons about other faiths have allowed her to be friends with people her age and teach about her faith and allay their fears.
One of her friends is a girl whose mother is a reverend. Her friend was nervous for a while but now, three years later, it’s nothing to her and even admitted that for a while it scared her until she got to know my daughter better.
I’ve been the maiden and the mother, now I begin my journey as the crone. Like any other grandparent I get to pass on stories to another generation about my daughter, my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles and the rest of the family, including myself.
I get to teach lessons like I did with my children about why ants collect food and how you know it’s about to rain when you see them all over the sidewalk and how to smell it for yourself when it’s close. I get to teach her all the things that I know and about the lessons I’ve learned about my life.
I know she’ll still make mistakes but I get to pass all this knowledge on. I look forward to this beautiful challenge.
My daughter baby-sits a friend’s baby and has been watching me like a hawk. Her friend’s baby didn’t crawl because the previous baby sitter left her on her back the whole time she had her. We were trying to get her to work her legs so I put the baby on my bed and lay down too.
I let her watch me get up and crawl across the bed and then she began moving her legs trying to get her knees up under herself. My daughter had a look of shock and pleasure on her face. She couldn’t believe it. She and her friend had tried to get her to crawl but never thought about getting on the floor with her! It’s another one of those things that I still have to teach my own daughter. I look forward to that too.
Now this other child is making her way across the floor on all fours.
It’s not even all the magickal stuff that I look forward to passing on to my granddaughter. Yes we’ll have ritual and celebrate the seasons and each full moon but there’s also crossing the street and tying her shoes. Showing her how to use the DVD player right instead of like her mother with the VCR sticking pennies in it and frying it out. Singing sing-a-long songs with her and teaching her games like Red Rover, Red Rover and Fox in the morning.
Granted that’s all years away but I want to do it. Help her learn to write her name, learn her English and math and even some geography and history before she even starts school. My daughter speaks Spanish and I did also. My two youngest sons are learning to speak French so she’ll have two languages under her belt before she goes to school.
My oldest son is a car fanatic! This little girl will be able like Marissa Tomei’s character in My Cousin Vinny!
This child is the furthest thing away from being a chore for all of us and we are looking forward to being able to teach her, with her parents, all that we can. I love learning things, as do my daughter and my new son so this first grandchild of mine is probably going to suck up everything!
I thought about ways of passing on our beliefs and traditions, as we obvious will be doing. We have an open view of how things are and want to pass that on. There is what we believe in as right and wrong which is simply “Would you want it done to you?“ Which is another way of saying harm none. We’ve been blessed with the opportunity to pass on what we know and I look forward to this next generation as the blessing that it is.
Ashleen O’Gaea wrote Raising Witches and uses a term to describe what we should be doing as parents that I’ve tried to do. It’s called regency parenting. Working to raise your child to be a responsible adult and able to function in the world independent of the parents. Able to live their lives when they turn eighteen and leave your home if they choose and being able to let them go live.
Thankfully my daughter has learned well from me because she is my granddaughter’s first teacher. Right now while she is still in the womb my daughter eats pretty healthy so her daughter has learned to look forward to the taste of fruits and vegetables instead of candy and junk food. Although there is still that craving for gyros and hoagies. At least there’s a lot of lettuce!
Raising children is only so hard as you make it and that includes the discipline. My daughter was a fairly spoiled child but has become a very responsible adult so I can’t complain about how she came out so that’s another thing that is, hopefully, going to be passed on.
Yes, things can be totally different than what you plan on them to be but as it stands we’ve got our foundation firmly in place and are more than willing to work to do our best for this little girl coming in the world in the next couple weeks.
A new chapter has opened up in all of our lives and it’s up to us to make the best of it and give her the best that we can while teaching her the best that we can about everything that we can. That includes being Wiccan and practicing Witchcraft and being under the big, beautiful umbrella of Paganism.
Let the adventure begin!!