Friday, November 7, 2008

Buying stock in Kleenex

Every so often I get a cold and I think to myself "Self, you should own stock in Kleenex". This time both the Bob and I have a cold. We are a snot festival here. I have even stayed home today so as not to disgust everyone I work with with all the sneezing and boogers. I did however take Cooper to school. I am no fool. If he is healthy he is going. Mommy needs the down time.

So I have sitting around blowing my nose and watching "Journey to the Center of the Earth" with James Mason and Pat Boone (by that I mean they are in the movie, not watching the movie with me), which is one of the most fabulously cheesy movies but I can't resist this genre of movies based on Jules Verne stories. I don't know which movie I saw first, 20,000 Leagues maybe, but they grabbed my imagination as a small child and I love watching them. Pat Boone quite smartly doesn't even try to do a Scottish accent in the movie despite portraying a Scotsman. It would have been half assed, like Kevin Costner's very very very misguided efforts at an English accent in that Robin Hood movie.

Anyway, aside from watching cheesy movies and blowing my nose, I have been thinking about traditions. Mr. Lady over at Whisky In My Sippycup recently blogged about not having grown up with traditions, so she made them up for her kids, like for what to do when a tooth comes out. I love traditions, at least the fun ones, and am trying to figure out what to do for Cooper. Our family traditions usually centered around holidays, and while some of them involved going to church - getting dressed up in a new outfit for Easter, going to the candlelight service at Christmas, we had the normal traditions. At least what I considered normal - we colored eggs a few days before Easter (with the old fashioned egg color that involved vinegar, which is why I can't smell vinegar without thinking of Easter), baking cookies around Christmas, putting up the tree Thanksgiving weekend once I was in college because that was when everyone was together. Note: we used to do a real tree, but between allergies and cost and my confliction with killing a tree for my own entertainment, we went to an artificial one and that is what the Bob and I have now. We would be allowed to open one present on Christmas eve, and then would get up to find new presents that Santa had delivered in the night. We carved pumpkins at Halloween (mom eventually bought two pumpkins so I could do the traditional triangle eyes and my brother could make his evil looking which I rejected flat out). Thanksgiving was a weird holiday for our family. Some of them don't actually like turkey, and my mom never liked cooking the dinner - I think it stressed her out trying to make it all come out at the same time. I love cooking a turkey dinner, and don't wait for Thanksgiving to come around to do it. I have this desire to bring together a bunch of friends and family every year, and have one of those Rockwell moments. We have joined other friends at their houses for dinner over the years, but involving family becomes difficult because mine lives far away, and unless we go to the Bob's mom, who lives in a two bedroom apartment which is kept at 90 degrees during "cold weather" we don't see her for this holiday. She doesn't like to travel.

I am saying all of this because I want traditions for our family. For Cooper. He may reject them eventually, as many kids do as they mature, but I look back on some of out traditions fondly. I have fond memories of being at my grandparents' house as a kid, in upstate NY for Christmas. Although getting there was always interesting. We would drive, and that is the snowbelt, so we often encountered a lot of snow. I remember snowbanks higher than the cars, not being able to walk in the snow in the yard because it was higher than my waist. Those trips were undoubtedly more stressful for my parents than I was aware of.

So...if anyone is reading this and has suggestions for traditions - not just for holidays but for any kind of event - I would like to hear about them.


Oz said...

Some of my favorite family traditions just kind of evolved - we always had vegetable soup and grilled cheese in rainy weather. One year, I had the chicken pox and we made lots of homemade cards and kept up that tradition (in my memory it's linked to chicken pox, but I'm not sure why). We exchange ornaments every year. We also go to this fancy restaurant that's on the top of a mountain for dinner once a year and then we always order the degustation (chef's choice, which I may have spelled wrong) and pass our plates around so we all get to try each thing. We used to have waffles on special occasions. Little things, but those are the things that have stuck with me.

We haven't really started many traditions with Axel, but I'm excited about starting them.

Mr Lady said...

I love traditions, too, mostly because I didn't have any. I'm excited to see the ideas people leave!