“Tell a complete stranger about a family tradition”
Now, I’m taking the leap of faith of assuming that there are complete strangers out there who do read these posts…I dedicate this prompt to you.
One of our family’s traditions is for our parents to bestow our family signet ring to each child as they ‘come of age’. The ring is usually gold, and is usually worn on the pinky finger. I say usually because when I got mine, I broke both those norms. I requested it be in white gold and wore it on my ring finger. This wasn’t just to be contrary, really, just because knowing my tastes, I knew that this would increase my chances of wearing it.
Regardless of the colour or digit placement, what is constant is that on the face of the ring there is the Cameron family crest. An arm, bent at the elbow, holding a dagger with a banner unfurled beneath it displaying the words “per rege et patria” or ‘for king and country’. As you can probably deduce, ours was one of the Royalist Scottish clans.
Now, my parents have decided that ‘coming of age’ means different things for the girls (myself and my sister, the eldest two) as it does for the boys (three heffalumps) in our family. My sister and I got our rings when we each turned 18, giving us each a chance to wear them proudly all through university and beyond. My brothers, on the other hand, have been told that they must wait until they are 21.
The reason? Teenage boys tend to lose small, precious things left in their care!
However, do not despair, the boys were not left with naught. When James, the eldest boy, turned 18, my parents decided that, instead, he would have the option of getting their own kilt with the family tartan. He readily agreed, and even went ahead to wear it to his prom. I can tell you that it had quite an effect!
When you really focus into the story here, it’s all about things. But to me, these ‘things’ represent so much more than their face value. For me, my siblings and I have the opportunity to wear a representative piece of our family with pride, every day.
Personally, my ring reminds me every day of the sense of strength and tradition my family managed to uphold over the years even after having moved to a foreign land, where their heritage was at risk of being swallowed up whole. It’s a reminder for me to continue representing that pride and strength.