We have endless traditions in our family—nacho buffet on Halloween, egg hunt in the yard on Easter morning, Christmas PJS and no one downstairs until we can be in position to document the joy, massive Christmas themed party for Nick’s birthday, happy birthday sign hung on the dining room wall, crab legs on Christmas Eve, Ohio between Christmas and New Year’s Day, dimes on New Year’s Eve, Christmas-Hanukah with the McGuire’s and, of course, Hershey Park with my best friend Karen and her family right before Christmas.
Sometimes when I talk about these traditions with other friends and lament on how hard it is to squeeze it all in, they say that we don’t always have to do the same things and we can let things go. And I know they mean well; but to change a tradition in my household would require a majority vote and months of discussion.
We love our traditions (like Front and Back photos on the first and last days of school) in our house. We also guard these traditions and place them in high regard.
As my kids get older, I am witnessing the fruits of this tradition dedication. My girls are teenagers and would never miss a Halloween nacho night or a weekend in Hershey and always cooperate for all traditional pictures (like the one I require with Santa every single year). They like being the kids of Mike and Trish Adkins; they love being part of this family and even as the world tugs at them and they spread their wings, they know they have a familiar, special place to land, always.
This friends, is always what I craved as a child, a big crazy, tight knit, thick as thieves family. For one reason and another, I just didn’t exactly have that. I had lots of wonderful things and love and loyalty, but I didn’t have 301 family traditions. I was always seeking and wanting and now, well, somehow I found the exact family that I needed.
I know someday, someone will miss something. And that our traditions will change. But I also know my kids will take our traditions with them wherever they go and no matter what they do. I know they will always know they have this safe, crazy, fun and loving place to land.