You may have noted that I am big on tradition. The little threads of ceremony that define the fabric of my children’s upbringing and the substance of our family, the little things that help us all to remember what it is that is important to us…. well we have a lot of such traditions and each of them is precious to me.
Traditions are arrived at by many roads. Some we are carrying on, or resurrecting, from our own childhoods. Some are created with intention in order to firm up some special idea or belief in the minds of the little hearts in our care. Some traditions though, some just come about all on their own, or evolve in unexpected ways.
Sometimes I think those last ones are the the sweetest. Those traditions that become habit without any forethought, completely uncontrived, seem somehow to have an extra helping of meaning. They express who our family is, and what we hold dear, in such a pure way.
One such new tradition for us is what my boys have deemed, “Fancy Sunday Dinner.” Each Sunday we clean and polish, bake and make beautiful, and then when night falls we eat in the dining room (“the fancy table”), with the best dishes and candlelight. For the first time since I wore a white dress and walked down the aisle to trumpet fanfare, my china is in regular use! I am so glad. It is nice to know that something lovely and special from our wedding is not just gathering dust, but coming to be lovely and special to our children.
This all began during Advent, when we purposefully made Sundays special celebrations, but we loved the idea and practice of it so much that on the last Sunday of advent we all agreed that we didn’t want special Sunday dinners to come to an end.
So each Sunday, and sometimes even beginning on Saturday, special food is made. It’s the one day a week that we make a serious, REAL dessert. Each boy gets his turn at deciding what it should be and helping to make it.
Bread dough rises, as do special prayers for the blessings of the week past and in hope for the week to come.
Silky napkins are put in laps and little boys are reminded to become gentlemen if only for a little while. We tell them that one day they’ll thank us when they are at a nice dinner, wishing to make a good impression on the stern-faced father of the girl that they hope to marry. They roll their eyes and say, “Oh gross!” but I notice that they sit up straighter and ask “brother will you pass the butter please?” ever so politely.
If nothing else Sunday has come to be a celebration of us. I hope that my boys are learning that the simple gift of family love, another week of being happy and healthy together, is worth celebrating with every good thing we have, because it IS every good thing that we have.
Happy weekend to you all. We’ll see you back here next week!