DH and I talked about this last night. I told him that the amount of time and effort that we have been putting into the public group Sabbats must go instead to those two little guys we had just sent upstairs to bed. This is not just an "it would be nice" thing, but a necessary thing.
We haven't figured out yet exactly what this will look like. Maybe it will happen out in Nature, or at home. Maybe decorating for the season will amount to changing the tablecloth on the kitchen table. Maybe the ritual, if there is one, will be simplistic and take five minutes.
I do know that this year we will have our Mabon meal on the beach, on a picnic blanket, while we talk about the origins of the food, and about what we are thankful for. DH looked for a harvest festival in Southern Ca. this weekend, but none are scheduled.
I do have one idea that I would like to float with DH. For each Sabbat, I'll like to start a family scrapbook, or a binder, or a lap book,
It might contain stories, recipes, songs, and pictures of the kids celebrating previous Sabbats. Maybe we can help the kids decorate it with a collage of seasonal images. Maybe these artifacts would grow each year with the children.
The background that led up to this:
For many years I went to Sabbats held at a private home with a beautiful community of deeply spiritual people. As wonderful as it was, something was missing because the experience wasn't shared with my children. They would go to a babysitter while DH and I celebrated, unless he elected to stay home. I still consider myself a part of this beloved community, although I don't see them as often as I would like.
For a while, I tried having family Sabbats at home, inviting parents and children from the local community. It didn't last through one turning of the Wheel. While it was rewarding, it was exhausting and expensive. Samhain was especially nice - one parent facilitated a discussion among the older kids about their family Samhain traditions, while the younger kids colored seasonal pictures, and then they carved jack-o-lanterns in the backyard.
I asked the parents if they could help with future gatherings. They simply couldn't. One said she would contribute financially but couldn't help organize or host one in her home. I understood and respected her position, but I realized that it wasn't enough. With three children; one an infant, one an adolescent and one a disabled toddler, my hands were already full.
Next came the CUUPS thing, which I've already blogged about. A major reason that I jumped at the chance to do the Sabbats with them was that it was our intention to be family-friendly. There was a large facility, so I didn't have to entertain in my home, which is something I don't enjoy. There were plenty of people who were willing to join efforts. We worked our tails off, and it was very rewarding.
Recently I realized with a jolt that during the planning, rehearsing, and ritual, my children sit in a nursery and watch DVDs. (Okay, in fairness, sometimes a hired babysitter follows through with an organized Sabbat craft.) That wasn't my vision. If you've been reading my blog you know what happened after that.
A SpiralScouts chapter was formed, and it's nice, but while it is an interfaith organization, it really isn't intended to be "about" the Sabbats. Nothing wrong with that, but it doesn't fill that particular need, so something else will.