Everyone has those traditions! Maybe they aren’t even really “traditions” but memories we hold onto fondly in our hearts. Things that we remember from childhood that just ,you know, stick! Things and moments that we know we will continue on with our own children because whether they were big or small, they just meant so much to us! I guess that’s really how traditions begin. One event or action was so beloved that it was created again and again until it just becomes something we can never live without!
My dad was a firefighter, something I will always be extremely proud of! When he was on his shift work in the early days he worked 24 hours on and then had 48 hours off. It was an amazing shift to raise children. I was able to play with my dad for two whole days and then I also had my mom all the myself for an entire night! You really honestly truly can’t get any better than that for a childhood!
On those nights that my brother and I had our mom just to ourselves, we always had our own little special traditions! One of those we called our “romantic dinners”. No dinner was ever truly the same and thats what made it really fun! Some nights we would grab fancy cheese and crackers; other nights (and this might seem so gross to some of you but I LOVE it) we would grab potted meat (devils delicious we would call it), crackers and maybe something else like chips and dip! There were days that we would order pizza or grill hot dogs; but no matter what we had to eat the drinks were always the same and they were the BEST! My mom always made us feel special by pouring 7-up or ginger-ale into champagne flutes (plastic ones probably) hence: romantic dinners!
We would sit on the floor in picnic style and we would watch a special movie! At least that’s the part that I remember! Sometimes I think we would just talk about our day. Later when I was older the romantic dinners would continue but they would be less of the romantic picnic style and more of the let’s go out to dinner or to a movie! The most important part of these evenings was that it was always me and my mom together spending quality time one on one! I knew that she was creating something special just for us and later, just for me!
The value of that for a child is incredible! In fact, it’s indescribable! It’s like a little heart glow! Do you guys watch Jane the Virgin??? If you do, you know the heart glow! (Guys if you aren’t watching Jane the Virgin… you must go to netflix now and start… it’s AMAZING!)
Anyway, these romantic dinners have stuck with me all these years. I’ve never ever once forgotten the significance of them or forgotten how I felt when we would clink our 7-up glasses!
Now, I’m a mama myself and my little one is the same age as I was when my mom started the romantic dinner tradition!
The other night Tuck was at a work dinner. His old job used to take him away for travel quite a bit and luckily I’m happy to announce we just found out he won’t be traveling anymore! We were offered a new job and we are so thankful he has accepted!
Anyway… the other night we were a little bummed that Tuck had been traveling and missing a lot of family dinners. But instead of letting it bum us out and ruin the evening, I remembered my fondness of my mom’s “romantic dinners”! She took an opportunity to really make an evening with her one on one and make is special!
I immediately ran upstairs and got one of Linc’s favorite blankets. I spread it on the floor and told him I was going to create something special for him!
I made his favorite Japanese noodles with soy sauce and extra butter and because my boy likes to eat, I also made him a plate of chicken, hummus and grapes. Linc’s also a huge milk drinker so I had to switch out the romantic champagne flutes (because home girl wasn’t prepared for that either but hey such is life) for milk in his straw cup!
The two of us sat on the floor that night and ate our dinner picnic style! We clinked our drinks and cheered the night away while watching a movie Linc picked out all on his own!
I also face timed my mama and sent her tons of pictures so she could participate with us!
It was a old tradition revived again and Linc absolutely adored it just like I did when I was his age… just like I do still when I go home and visit my mom!
The best part is that whenever Tuck is away for dinner now (or lunch for that matter) Linc runs to grab a blanket and sets up a picnic for us! He begs for a “picnic” and it just melts my little heart! I love how much he loves this little tradition that my mom began with us such a long time ago! I love that he will have this with my mom too when they are together with each other!
What’s even better… the other night one of Linc’s favorite people came over, our neighbor James. He came just for a bit and he had his own Chipotle dinner. I’ve never seen Linc move so fast to grab that blanket! James hadn’t even made it through the front door to the couch before Linc had set up the “romantic dinner” for his BFF. I was shocked and had that Jane the Virgin heart glow again that Linc loves James so much to share our special little tradition with him!
As mamas sometimes it’s easy to forget that everything we do has the ability to impact the hearts and the long term traditions our children will carry through with them into the future! Something as simple as a blanket on the floor and potted meat (haha) can warm a child’s heart so much that it carries over to the next generation and again into the next!
I know for me, sometimes I need to remind myself of this more often: to take a step back and breathe! To remember that it’s the little things in life that matter the most! It’s the intentional, from the heart,acts that often stick and last through the generations and mean the most! That’s how traditions begin!
Life gets crazy… I need to slow it down sometimes and that means being purposeful! Right?
BTW… we also have Donut Sunday’s thanks to our amazing neighbors!
What are some of your traditions friends? Do you have fun, simple ones like this? I would love the hear them!!! Really… I want to hear them!