What a “Happy” Way to Bring in the New Year (2017) with My Little Girl! 

“Happy New Year!” My three year old bellowed out with joy as she grabbed as much confetti as her hands could hold and put into her crazy paper bag hat. For the third year in a row, on December 31st, my husband and I took our daughter to the Please Touch Museum to bring in the new year for their countdown until noon event. With each passing year, Quinn enjoys it more and more. This year, she proudly counted down starting at 30 seconds eager to blow her noise maker horn.

Another New Year’s Eve tradition she looks forward to is bringing in the new year at my brother-in-law’s home. But prior to setting off to their house, we attended a Kwanzaa celebration which is usually held prior to New Year’s Eve. It was a great time filled with activities, learning about the principles of Kwanzaa, music, food and community.

Needless to say, with three outings, it was a packed day, and my husband and I both wondered if Quinn would be able to stay awake until midnight without being cranky. Luckily, Quinn and I both were able to get cat naps in between each event, so we both were up and ready to party with our family to bring in 2017.

“I want to bring all of the confetti I collected at The Please Touch Museum to Uncle Scott and Aunt Dee’s house,” Quinn informed her father and me. “I can’t wait to throw it in the air and say, “Happy New Year!” she said with excitement. Her wish was fulfilled as we all counted down together, and she along with our other family members threw confetti and noise makers too.

Just thinking about how much she has grown and matured throughout the course of 2016 leaves me in awe.  Just thinking about how much I’ve grown as a mother leaves me feeling blessed and motivated about my journey and the baby steps I will continue to take in the years to come.

As I said in my 2015 post leading into 2016, “I am so happy and blessed that I was able to bring in the new year with my husband, daughter and family.” Here’s to an awesome 2017!
All the best,
Tanya

Having a Happy Kwanzaa with My Little One: Umoja (Unity)

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Quinn Demonstrating Umoja by Becoming a Part of the Ceremonial Dance

Kwanzaa is a week long celebration which celebrates and honors African heritage in African American cultures, and it pleases me that this is the third year my two and a half year old has attended a Kwanzaa celebration. Though my daughter initially clung to my husband and me this evening, she was a shining example of Umoja the first day of Kwanzaa, which means unity.

Part of the evening involved gaining some historical knowledge about Kwanzaa along with different aspects of African heritage. One of the people offering insight also performed a ceremonial African dance with roots from Mali. My daughter was captivated by the woman’s movements, so when she extended her hand to Quinn, she surprisingly took it without hesitation, even with the huge crowd of onlookers. Perhaps she could feel her positive energy and knew she would not do her harm. Maybe she was just moved by the familial setting and togetherness of so many people.

The woman remarked on how brave Quinn was and how we can all learn from her. In knowing how shy my daughter can be, I was astonished at how she stepped out of her comfort zone to unite with someone she did not even know. My little one actually played a significant role in getting some of the adults out of their seats to actively participate in the celebration. Quinn reinforced the importance of how bravery is sometimes essential to establish unity among people. Sometimes extending a hand with a welcoming smile is enough to make a person want to unite. It worked for Quinn!

All the best,

Tanya H. Franklin