Every year over Memorial Day, we attend the Indy 500. My dad has been going to the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” since he was 14. It’s a family tradition.
I have one daughter who looks forward to this weekend all year, and I have another one who thinks she would rather have her toenails pulled out than go to the race. We make her go anyway.
Because this Memorial Day weekend tradition isn’t about the race. It’s about family. It’s about spending time with those you love. It’s about carrying on a tradition that was started more than 50 years ago.
Usually, I’m a big proponent of letting your kids march to the beat of their own drums and letting them follow their passions. But sometimes, I force my kids to do things they don’t like because it’s best for them or for our family.
On Memorial Day weekend, we don’t just go to the race. We stay with some longtime friends of my family. We spend time with my cousin and his son. And those are things that have more value than watching cars go around the track.
I fully expect some eye-rolling and protesting from my daughter who doesn’t like the race, but I also know she’ll have a ton of fun this weekend. I know she’ll be creating memories like the rest of us. I know that someday she’ll look back and remember these Memorial Day weekends fondly.
Because it’s not about a race. It’s about family. It’s about sharing our lives with people we see only a few times a year. It’s about love.
And those are the memories we want to make. Those are the moments we want our kids to hold dear.
Because that’s what God is all about. He’s about family (He adopts all of us). He’s about relationships (He wants one with us). He’s about love (He sent His Son to die for us because He loves us so much).
When we teach our kids to value family, relationships and love, we teach them to value the things that God values — even if we have to endure some teenage eye-rolling along the way.
So, even if you have to drag your kids to an event or a family tradition, do it. Because they’ll probably have fun. But more importantly, they’ll learn to value the things that God values.