Home Values

Culture is a funny thing. It can make you chase bulls or hang up socks once a year, leave food at the cemetery or throw a tree. Nations have cemented certain customs that depict who they are as a people, and the sheer diversity of it all is breathtaking.

I’ve recently encountered the concept of family culture: the mix of rituals, rules, habits, and priorities unique to each household that creates a distinct group identity. Every family has one whether they try to or not. Now that Riley and I are parents of a three-month-old, we figured it would be a good time to sit down and hammer ours out, starting with the values we feel best reflect who we want to become together. Here are the results, along with some ideas for putting them into practice.

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Have you ever had a theme song for a particular season of life, an anthem that if you were quiet enough, you could almost hear spinning through the air? For the entire first year we lived in New England, mine was Home by Phillip Phillips. Nothing too flashy or deep; it just caught at me and carried me along. As a native Okie, being transplanted to the frigid Northeast was quite a shock to the system. My family, my friends, my comfort zone all stayed snugly put in the heartland while I journeyed far away. I did a lot of thinking about home during that time—what does it mean, where can we find it, why does it matter, things like that. Here’s what I learned (then and since):

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