Yesterday was November 5th. In England, they celebrate Guy Fawkes Day on the fifth of November: lots of fireworks in celebration of the time Guy Fawkes didn’t blow up Parliament. November 5th also plays a prominent part in the movie V for Vendetta, which tells the story of a futuristic Britain controlled by a police state and the attempts of V to overthrow said government.
All of this is relevant, I promise.
In college, I was introduced to the movie V for Vendetta. It’s a pretty stereotypical college experience for people my age. The themes of the film work well with us: revolution against tyranny, individuality triumphs over conformity, and “A revolution without dancing is a revolution not worth having.” In college, I made a point of watching the movie every November 5th. My senior year in college, my then boyfriend (now dear husband) and I watched it in fits and spurts in between classes and meals. Two years later, we watched it with some friends in our college town. We’ve managed to watch it together with some conglomeration of friends (I still don’t own the movie…) every year of our marriage.
All of this rambling about this film has a point, I promise. Yesterday morning, knowing we would be watching V for Vendetta later that evening, my dear husband posted on his Facebook, “Fall is full of little markers and traditions for the Miles-in-Texas household. Today marks one of our more idiosyncratic. #RememberRemember.” It got me thinking about all the traditions we have created here in our first home: November 5th, the Library Book Sale, Farm Day, a festival at our local Anabaptist community, Thanksgiving with our friends, getting a Christmas tree and decorating for Christmas, watching A Muppet Christmas Carol and forcing all our friends to watch with us… And that’s just the months of November and December!
My dear husband and I are often not overly intentional with our marriage. We don’t read marriage books together, we don’t go to marriage counseling, and we don’t really even discuss marriage with our married friends. We just go about life together and deal with things as the come along. Some day this particular strategy may not work as well and we will adjust accordingly. But for now, we’re just doing our thing.
But in moments like this, I realize we are indeed a family. We have created a home and a life together that is different from anyone else. We have combined my traditions and his traditions and traditions with friends in this town to create our own traditions, just like my parents did when they first got married.
I know we’ve talked about this before, but these traditions are what keep me sane in the changing times. I honestly have no idea where we will be living a year from now. I mean, I know generally what area, but a house? a trailer? an apartment? someone’s basement? I don’t know what kind of job I’ll have, what kind of church we’ll be at, if we’ll be settled or still feeling out of whack. But I do know that the Friday after Thanksgiving, we’ll find a real Christmas tree, set up my mother’s nativity scene, watch A Muppet Christmas Carol, and listen to Christmas music for the first time.
I’m also excited about finding new traditions: a new favorite pizza place, a new used bookstore, a new festival to attend (I’m hoping for an apple orchard… they have those in my new home!), a new yearly thing to look forward to. I love traditions and I love that I get to make new ones with my dear husband. This building a family thing can be so fun and so stabilizing.
Remember, remember the 5th of November. And the day after Thanksgiving. And the time of Christmas decorating. And the fall festival. Because these things help create a family.