Traditional rites of passage appear to be going the way of the Dodo and this is something greater than just loosing heritage. In todays world, the timeline of life can be a bit ambiguous; parenthood starts before High School graduation, sex experimentation starts in middle school alongside dabbling with drugs, the college graduate boomerangs back to the parents basement for a life of video game solitude, gender is as fluid as emotions and a marriage ceremony may never happen. The Jewish Bar/Bat Mitzvah and Latino Quinceanera provide youth with a milepost to reflect upon to understand their growth as they transition to the next phase of life and take on new responsibility. Seemingly, the modern rites are merely associated with age; 16th, 18th and 21st birthdays or the onset of puberty. Perhaps events along the way; first kiss, first hunting trip, first time to First Base, earning a drivers license or a first drink of alcohol may be considered a rite of passage. High School and college graduations are significant milestones that receive much fanfare, but how does it work if a graduation didn't happen? Traditional rites of passage are used to celebrate where we have been and with a rich tradition of support, provide assurance that we are prepared for the next step. Many of the modern rites automatically happen with age or are celebrated in the dark of night with a red Solo cup. These events seem to fall short of what our forefathers experienced and don't quite measure up. As an aside, I don't know where on the rite scale it falls, but changing your first poopy dirty diaper is a rite of passage; no question, that stench is a rite and you get credit. It is worthy to have a conversation before the rites are extinct.
How have your rite of passage experiences shaped you? What meant the most? What rites have you missed out on or wish you had celebrated? What rites of passage have you participated in for others? Parents, how are we intentional about celebrating rites of passage for our kids? What rites of passage question should be answered?