Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sweet Traditions


Late Wednesday night I quietly came into our house, backpack on my shoulder and typical giant Brook-size suitcase in tow. There, straight ahead of me, was a "Welcome Home" sign.  Like countless similar signs, the boys made it while I was out of town; they do it every time I'm away.  It began in 2009, and I'll always remember coming home from that trip to my first sign.  These days, that tradition is definitely a highlight of my return.

I'm not the best person at keeping tradition.  Okay, maybe I'm one of the worst.  In the nearly 13 years that I've been a parent, our household has missed things like pumpkin carving and Easter egg coloring more than once.  I like to blame it on being too busy, but probably more realistically, it's me forgetting or just plain not taking the time (eek...I admitted it).  I know I have tradition-loving friends who are mortified to be reading this.  Sorry, guys...

It gets better (and maybe more shocking) though.  One year, when Clay was 2 and Cole was just a baby, I asked my mother in law to watch the boys so I could decorate the house for Christmas.  Yup...even the tree.  I figured it would be too much work with them there, and that, heaven forbid, the ornaments might not go on the tree in just the right places.  I'm so thankful for the objectivity that comes with time, because it wasn't many years later that I actually realized how crazy I was for doing that.  A year of Christmas decorating memories with my sweet young boys was missed because I wanted everything to be perfect.

 Maybe this is a more accurate statement: I skip over traditions when they aren't convenient for me.

I could go on with similar stories, but you get the point.

The strange thing is, I come from a family who is all about keeping tradition.  We consistently have some of the same old family recipes on holidays, my mom still buys all her kids (and now grandkids), new pajamas to be opened each Christmas Eve, and on and on.  I love the traditions; I've just totally slacked at keeping them. 

Anyhow, my point is this...my kiddos began a tradition 4 years ago that they continue to do.  I look forward to it, and I just plain love it.   

As we head into the holiday season this year, I'm more thankful than usual for the sign that hung in front of me as I came home this week.  Not only did it bless me to know my boys were excited to have their mama home...it was a perfect reminder of the importance of keeping old traditions alive.  One thing is for sure...this year all 5 Hickles will be trimming the tree together, no matter where the ornaments end up. :)

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