Saturday Story Time presents: Thats a family tradition?
September 10, 2011, 8:30 pm
Filed under: blessings, humor, love, Parenting, travel | Tags: , ,

I am sitting on the vinyl couch in front of our tv waiting for Sunday nights “The Wonderful World of Disney” to come on. We have just finished watching “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom”. Now with my brown and orange metal tv tray in front of me, I eat a grilled cheese sandwich with a bowl of tomato soup, and my dads home-made milkshake. The Medcalf Sunday night tradition, has begun. How did this happen? I am not really sure, it may have been that my mom was too tired on Sunday’s to think so grilled cheese was easy and fast. It may have been we did not have a whole lot of money so it was a cheap meal.

Whatever it was, it became a Sunday night ritual, that brings great comfort to me in my memories of growing up. As a mother with my own family, similar seemingly innocent non purposeful acts have become tradition. Others I have gone out of my way to promote and create. Either way, the importance of family traditions or quirks are monumental to family bonding and memory making. They are the things that bring us together, and keep us together when we lose our way.

One of the Johnson family traditions that we started when the kids were little, centers around birthdays. No matter what kind of party they are having, or not having, on their birthdate, they get to choose the meal, and who sits where at the dinner table. From the main course to the sides, and of course, the dessert, they are in charge. They may invite one friend to join us for the dinner if they choose to, but more often than not, they choose not. Dictating who sits where, is a very important decision, and is something they looked forward to with great anticipation.

Isaac, always the joker and power seeker would tell me of his seating plan, only to change it as people would sit down, then change it again when they were seated. This made him very happy, and as usual left the rest of us in an uproar with his humor. John could never make up his mind, and if I am lucky, he will decide the night before what he wants for dinner and then often makes us wait holding our dinner dishes while he finally decides where he wants people to be. Christian will begin anticipating his meal at the beginning of the month and see how much meat he can possibly ask for in one meal. Jessie cares more about the dessert, and making sure everyone is included in her meal, as if it was their birthday, not hers.

A tradition that I had no idea was a tradition was stopping for Krispy Kreme donuts on our way to get the Ferry boat to Maine Island. When the wonderful, sinful, place came to the west coast they were few and far between. We discovered on had opened in a town about 30 miles from the Canadian border. The first time we stopped, the kids thought they had been given an Oasis in a desert. They watched the donuts being made, frosted, and waited with great anticipation for that hot sugary treat to melt in their mouths. It had a clean restroom and a gas station near by so I stopped again the next time we were going.

The following year when we were planning our trip, Christian said “Well, after we stop at Krispy Kreme it will only be a little while longer to the Ferry terminal, right mom?” Who said we were stopping at Krispy Kreme I asked? All four of my kids jumped up and said “Mom, it’s tradition!” It is? When did that happen? It was not a planned thing, but it has become a much-loved, and anticipated tradition of our yearly trek to Canada. Who would have known?

It is truly one of my favorite things about having a family, being a part of a family, and sharing in other people’s family. Scott’s family has many traditions of their own that I have now been included in. An Easter egg hunt with a ‘grand egg’ that has $20.00 in it. A yearly dinner with dear family friends, called the “soup supper”, which now has been going on for over 20 years. It does not have to be an expensive vacation spot or elaborately planned special occasion. It can be getting up at dawn for the Sunrise service on Easter, and it might even be stopping at the same place for donuts every year.

The best family quirks, or traditions are not the ones you plan, but the spontaneous breaks from the normal routine, that then become something bigger, than anyone anticipated. My mom started a tradition in our family that still brings comfort to my soul, and warm feelings to my heart when I think about it. Did she know she was making a tradition as she grilled those cheese sandwiches, or my dad made that milkshake? I don’t think they had a clue. But I am sure glad they did. Ooh, I got run, I need to make a grilled cheese sandwich!


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