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Choose Joy

“If you could create any holiday, what would it be and why?”—This is my favorite question to ask my students because it yields the most creative responses! One can observe the smiles on their faces as they plan the logistics of their holidays and the fun they might have.

An AMAZING mom brought this idea to life during a time when happiness and creativity is most important for our children. Read below to see how Mrs. McClintock, a fellow teacher bae, fosters joy in her home through the creation of “Brother’s Day”- a holiday where her two sons can celebrate one another!

1. What is Brother’s Day, and how was it created?

Brothers Day was a day that my boys came up with on their own. They’ve always had a super close relationship. In Spring of 2019, we moved from Las Vegas to Texas. Shortly after we moved into our new home, myself and my older son went back to Las Vegas to finish out our school years. (I was teaching Kindergarten at the time, and didn’t want to leave my students with a sub for the last bit of the school year, and I also didn’t want to have to enroll my older son into a new school for that short amount of time).

So anyway, we went back while my husband and younger son (who was 4 and not in formal school yet), stayed in Texas. The 6 weeks apart was hard on all of us. But it was especially difficult for my boys. They missed playing with each other so much. FaceTime just wasn't enough."

Shortly after we reunited in May of 2019, they made a plan to come up with their own holiday to celebrate their friendship, brotherhood, and togetherness.

They looked at a calendar and randomly decided on July 17th. Thus, Brother’s Day was born!

2. Why is this holiday important in your household?

Although this year was only our second time celebrating Brother's Day, I could tell how important it was to them because they began reminding me in May. 'Brothers day is coming up, it’s almost brothers day!', I would often hear them say. My boys looked forward to this holiday as if it was Christmas morning. It’s a pure and wholesome celebration of the wonderful bond and friendship they have built through the years.

3. How do your sons typically spend Brother’s Day? How does the celebration of this holiday help to foster joy in your home during this pandemic?

"The first Brother’s Day in 2019 was more of my husband and I celebrating them. We took them out to eat, took them somewhere fun to play, and bought them each a gift.

This year was very different. Partly because of the pandemic, and also because they are both older and therefore more independent and creative. It was their idea to make gifts for each other. They both love to build things with boxes, and I was in awe of how dedicated they were through the process of choosing what to make.

They both made sure it was something based off of the other's interest. They even went into different rooms to create their gifts and asked me for gift bags, so it could be a secret. The pandemic also made me be more creative since I knew we couldn’t rely on simply going out to eat.

That’s when I came up with the 'B for Brothers' - all day they participated in activities that began with the letter B. We celebrated with blueberry muffins for breakfast, bicycle rides, blowing bubbles, “balloon basketball”, reading a new book together, having banana-peanut butter shakes for snack etc.

Check out some pics from their 2nd annual Brother's Day celebration below!

4. What message would you or your boys want to share with others about this holiday?

I think the pandemic allowed us to hone back in on the original purpose of Brothers Day: celebrating their togetherness. I think a lot of times we get lost in “holidays” and think it’s all about running around and doing things and spending money. I have no idea how we will celebrate next year. I imagine that their special holiday will transform and grow with them as they get older. I hope they always remember to stick together, love, and support each other through whatever life throws at them.

5. What recommendations would you give to parents for keeping the days filled with fun during this time?

For other parents, I think this pandemic has shown us that busy isn’t always better. We were pretty sad when my boys basketball season got cancelled in March. But it caused us to find other ways to fill our time, but at a much slower and enjoyable pace.

They’ve learned to ride their bikes without training wheels during the pandemic. I’ve taught both of them how to play my favorite childhood game: mancala. We cook together more, read together, draw, dream, talk.

A recommendation that I would give is that creating memories doesn’t have to be expensive or extravagant. After I posted pictures of Brothers Day on my Facebook, I had quite a few friends say they wanted to do that or Sisters Day in their homes. I would love if more families were inspired to come up with their own special family holidays! 🤎”

For more content from this amazing mommy and educator, check out her instagram @proudprekteacher. Thanks for reading.

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