Today is my baby’s birthday. I use the term “baby” loosely. He married the love of his life last year. So, now it’s her turn to make his birthday breakfast. None the less, I found myself pulling out the Happy Birthday sign that we’ve used every year, for each of our birthdays since the kids were born, and hanging in its usual place of honor were the family gathers in the kitchen. Gone are the days of bedtime stories, forts in the backyard, and pancakes shaped like animals….at least until the next generation. <g>
Which had me thinking about traditions – and perhaps more specifically, how they evolve as our lives evolve. Holiday traditions are a given. When we first were married, Christmas always involved a large family gathering at my husband’s grandmother’s place – a beautiful brick home that her father had built and that reigned supreme for four generations. Since her passing, the family has taken to celebrating Christmas Day at our house. The location might have changed, but the spirit remains the same; a big dinner, a roaring fire, Christmas carols on the stereo, pecan pie, stacks of presents under the tree, our favorite uncle playing Santa, decorations tucked into every nook and cranny.
Then there are those annual family gatherings on the Tennessee River; fishing, swimming, cruising, eating, fishing, playing in the water, eating, fishing…..you get the idea. <g>
But it’s the “other” traditions I’m thinking of today, like the almost right-of-passage camping trips to the “trout streams” our men take, or the annual target practice Thanksgiving weekend (and you thought Black Friday was a big deal <g>)… and the Scrabble tournaments. Don’t forget the Scrabble! As our family grows and changes I wonder how many of these familiar, family-defining traditions will remain.
Will my future granddaughter wear the opera pearls on her wedding day that her mother, grandmother, and several great-grandmothers wore before her? Will my future grandson love the wild outdoors with the same passion as his father, grandfather and great-grandfathers did? I hope so. But I also look forward to the unique and special traditions those future generations will bring.