Building Traditions

This Easter, we won’t be making our usual trip to Virginia. We are still working out alternate plans, and in the meantime, it had me thinking about the smaller, fun and funny habits and traditions that have come to be over the past few years….

This year, we started what we decided would be a new one: a New Year’s Day movie and lunch out together. The theater was uncrowded, the movie fun and a great subject of conversation at lunch;

At night, the kids and I blow each other kisses, which we catch and whisper “I put it in my pocket” for later in the night, if we can’t sleep or get lonely in bed;

Sam getting up early in the morning just to “share” breakfast with Daddy and then wave goodbye from the front window;

Going to the train station to watch trains come and go while waving to the engineer (hoping for a honk of the horn) and saying hi to the conductor;

Hugging Sam, and then pretending he is “stuck” to me, and finding someone to pull his leg and “pop” him off;

Running laps around the first floor playing “tickle monster” and “bucky-bucky” (the kids love Pete’s version of a bucking bronco piggyback ride) ;

Riding the train into the city, sometimes just for the sake of taking a train ride, and sometimes to go someplace special, like BluesFest;

Going to the Chicago Botanic Garden: Sam, in particular, has a routine – we visit the “choo choo” garden, then walk to the waterfall, go to lunch in the cafe, and then back to the train garden for one last visit;

Taking a million pictures of the kids on every type of vehicle imaginable at Barrington’s Big Trucks festival, all the while trying to manage the kids impatience to get on the Garbage truck and wishing I’d loaded up on Advil (on the days they don’t pull the fuses on all the truck horns) – I think I have pictures of Sam sitting on the park district’s big lawn mower for the past 4 years;

“Picnics” in the family room floor, the psychedelic fleece blanket spread out (ostensibly, to catch crumbs).

I’m sure there are more that will come to mind later, but its amazing to me what we’ve built as a family in the past (almost) 6 years. There are days I want to tear my hair out, days I want to quit, but most days I’m filled with a sense of peace (and sense of humor) and thankful for the gift of my family.

The gift I can’t exchange or return – And (most days) wouldn’t dream of!

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