Since I started my own family, I often think about traditions. At Christmas time, everybody seems to have a list of things they do as a family. During the rest of the year, traditions seem to not be as prevalent. I don't recall anything from my childhood that we did on a regular basis like Pizza Night or going to church on Sunday. Although, my memory for these things is not the greatest. My Mom and Auna (my brother's daughter) are visiting for a few days before we leave for Idaho. Having them here made me realize that we have a few traditions already in place for our family.
Last night after dinner, we took Forest for a walk. We do this every night without much thought. Forest is a 100 pound black lab who obviously needs some exercise daily. We've had him for 4 1/2 years and have walked him for 1-2 miles every day. When we lived in Phoenix, David did this walk a lot by himself at 5 A.M. due to the heat. Now that we are in a cooler climate, we all go on our walk every night after dinner. Even in the winter we'd bundle up the kids in the wagon and go walking in the snow. So for the past year, it's been our family tradition to go for a walk every night. The kids count on it almost religiously and Emily will often ask hours before if she can bring a certain doll or toy on our walk. Lately, Emily has been riding her bike and Ben walks, rides on David's shoulders or sits in the wagon. He doesn't know how to peddle his bike yet. I never realized that is a learned skill but it is. Forest also knows that this is our tradition. About an hour before our walk every night, he starts to get excited in anticipation of what is to come. I realize that this tradition never would have happened had it not been for Forest. David and I share some great conversations on our walks. It's time with no distractions where we can talk about anything and everything. I cherish these walks and the time alone with my family.
Our other family tradition is a nice big breakfast on weekend mornings. David and I have been doing this since we met almost 6 years ago. Back then, breakfast was more elaborate and quiet. We'd sit for hours, eat our breakfast and read the paper. It's all a little different now. We have sticky hands, spilled juice and the paper is used to color on, but it's still our tradition. Emily looks forward to it so much that she plans on Friday night what kind of pancakes she wants the next morning. She likes banana, blueberry or chocolate chip. Ben starts asking for bacon first think Saturday morning. They instinctively know that when Daddy does not go to work that a pancake breakfast is coming. And on that note, I'm off to enjoy my stack of pancakes and one of our family tradition.