Wednesday, December 2, 2015

A Mom's Job: Teaching Traditions

Thanksgiving with both sides of the family.  My side.

Chris's parents came too.  (The best picture we could snag of this group....7 out of 8 smiling faces:)).

We've hit the point where the kids can have an "unsupervised" table.

The conversations were hilarious.

Cooper told me he drank out of a medieval goblet.  (I suppose he's not used to drink out of anything other than plastic.)

If diet linked us genetically, Caleb and I would not be related.  Our favorite parts of Thanksgiving could not be more different.    Eating turkey made him giddy.

I got snuggle time with my niece Caroline.

On Thanksgiving morning, I finally got to cleaning out school backpacks from the previous week.  From Collin's backpack, I fished out an envelope addressed to Chris.  He tore it open and unearthed a letter written to him by Collin.  It was absolutely precious.  In it, he expressed his gratitude for how his Daddy worked to bring food to our house.  He also thanked his Dad for helping him with homework and playing with him.

I pulled Collin into an embrace and praised him for his sweet note.  

A few minutes later, I asked Collin, "Why didn't mommy get a note too?"

With complete sincerity, Collin replied, "I didn't know what you do for me."

(And for the record, he said this to me while I was standing washing dishes and working on a meal.)

If he wasn't so cute.....

I then gently reminded him of the laundry, the meals, the school transportation.  It was as if he experienced little "aha" moments.  Like, "Oh she's the one that does all that."

I want Collin to know I tend to the household responsibilities and his everyday care.  But, more importantly, I want him to know I did other things for him, like create and maintain family traditions that I hope he treasures later in life.

Thanksgiving is where family and traditions intersect.  It is the day where dishes are served that were passed down by prior generations and created by precious family members.  With certain dishes, I am transported to past Thanksgivings and relatives who have passed.  The cinnamon rolls bring back images of my Grandmother Joseph whizzing around the kitchen.  She served the rolls hot and with a slab of buttery-goodness.  The green bean casserole was my Grandmother Hartley's dish.  (This is the first holiday her seat remains empty at the table as she currently resides in a rehabilitation hospital).  I think about her contagious laugh and giving spirit when I gazed at the dish.

One day, I hope Collin enjoys the same dishes and with each spoonful remembers beloved family members and special holidays from his childhood.  This is something I can do for him, and I do it with great pleasure.

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