“What an enormous magnifier is tradition! How a thing grows in the human memory and in the human imagination, when love, worship, and all that lies in the human heart, is there to encourage it.” ~ Thomas Carlyle
Sometimes we go to great lengths to arrange our traditions like flowers to present an ideal bouquet in our lives, and other times they just fall into place. They provide our families with a rich fragrance and connection. Tradition seeps into our bones like water into a tea bag until it unifies and strengthens and we don’t remember life any other way.
We established many traditions with our own children. Through the years some remain and others have morphed into new ones. Of course, some have slipped into the warmth of memory.
One of our traditions is the birthday person can choose any meal to be made at home or can go out as a family to any restaurant they choose. A few years ago I chose to go out but could not decide where I wanted to go. I think Dirt Man came up with something and I agreed. I just wasn’t in the mood for any particular place. As we got to the end of the street ready to take a right, Youngest yelled out the name of a restaurant we used to frequent when they were little. Oldest and I shouted “yes” in unison as Dirt Man struggled to get the car into the left turning lane.
I’m not sure how or when this little family Italian restaurant had stumbled from the grace of familiarity with us. I suppose most likely our sons tastes grew along with them and preferred other types of restaurants, not to mention the fact it’s difficult to schedule a time convenient for the four of us and both of their girlfriends.
When our kids were small this place had Tuesday night “make you own pizzas” for kids. The first thing Oldest and Youngest did when we sat down was look for the pizza bar. Sadly, it had been removed. Still, we had a wonderful time reliving the past and enjoying the restaurant for the first time as a family of all adults. We swore we’d surely go back again soon. Sadly, we haven’t. However, Youngest’s birthday is coming up soon…I wonder if he’ll think to choose that place.
Like the tradition of burning the gardens and fields in the spring, we can look at the ending of a tradition as the death of it. Or we can view it as a renewal, an opportunity to create a new tradition.
As for future traditions in my family, I know my heart will expand to include more people, create more memories, and clothe those I love in comfort. Time is the creator and breaker of traditions. It has a way of melding the present into the past and tiptoeing into the future.
Sprite’s Keeper: Traditions