Sunday, April 14, 2013

Family Tradition

I don't think I fully appreciated the importance of family traditions until I became a parent. As each year passes they seem to mean more and more to me.

Traditions, no matter how seemingly insignificant and random, serve as priceless touchstones within the bond of family. Whether it is the burrito place we stop to eat at every time we go to Atlanta, our traditional Sunday brunch or the silly "Christmas Eve gift" we play annually--these repeated experiences are reminders in a chaotic world that there is a rhythm to family, history is being made and we are a part of something bigger than ourselves.

There are books and Pinterest boards that seek to inspire traditions--and I am all about intentionality--but I find that many of the traditions unique to our tribe happened rather accidentally. The silly song I sing when I tuck them in, for example... If I had realized how many years that would stick around I certainly would have put some more thought into it!

As my children age, I am also mindful that there are incredible moments when something from my own childhood is repeated--and seeing it again through the eyes of my children is nothing short of precious. Watching them pound on the same piano I always flocked to at my Grandmama's reminds me that these are moments they will one day reminisce about. These are our children's good ole days.

This weekend represented a very special rite of passage for the males in our crew--attendance at the Masters in Augusta.
My father-in-law bought his first Masters ticket in high school for $15 and has attended annually for the last 52 years since. My mother-in-law has been by his side for most of those.
It has been 31 years since my husband attended his first Masters with his father. Through the generosity of my father-in-law, they were able to begin the tradition with my sons this weekend.

Saturday was R's turn. (He loved the strategy, the scoring, collecting cups and that the champion, Adam Scott, shares our name.)

Today it was P. (He was thrilled to get one of Freddy Couples' used golf tees, moving from hole to hole as often as possible and a quadruple turtle sighting at 16.)

K was invited but she declined on the grounds that she had no interest in being quiet and still all day. Judging from this picture, she may have been right :) She confessed today, after hearing the boys' stories, that she would definitely be ready next year!

Daddy & Granddaddy also had a ball with their young men. Each boy came back standing a little taller--a bit more of a young man than when they'd left. Amazing the impact of just one day of being a little man in the presence of elders!

For the last decade my husband & I have shared an annual date here, but it was time for me to pass the torch. Another reminder that seasons change and our people are growing up. We have other traditions. This is a sweet one to be shared!

And although I had my fears that something so special might be lost on children who aren't quite nine years old, they were quickly put to rest by the incessant chatter each afternoon about their adventure, the beaming smiles (on both boys and men) and the sweet words of P's prayer tonight:
"Dear God, thank you for the best day EVER. Amen."

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