The other day, in the middle of a pre or post birthday discussion, it was all such a blur of activity I can't quite remember...my husband said something with regards to Violet and the activities surrounding her birthday, "She's like you, tradition is so important to her."
That struck me a bit. Not because I hadn't realized that tradition was important to her, to both kids really, but because I'm not sure I realized quite how important it was to me. Growing up I don't remember having many traditions. There were a few, like listening to "Alice's restaurant" on the drive to my aunt and uncle's for Thanksgiving. Going shopping for new and matching (with my sister) Easter dresses and shoes. Waiting for the "Christmas tape" to play before we were allowed to come downstairs Christmas morning (a fun tradition we've hung on to in our own home)...But, truly, perhaps it's just my memory, but I don't remember many tried and true traditions.
But, now, as a parent it's clear to me that I /we have started and continued many traditions. And the kids have really grown to love (and expect) these.
Though, sometimes, the blowing up of balloons and placing of streamers while they sleep the night before their birthday can be tedious. Listening to whose turn it is to open one of the variety of advent calendars that we have to open during the holidays can get exhausting...And finding time for apple/berry/peach picking can be challenging. But, these traditions are what their childhood memories are made up of...so we continue...
One such tradition, an accidental one perhaps...the birthday pajamas, or in Violet's case, nightgowns...
On her birthday, as she was at school, it occurred to me that I had spent so much time on her birthday dress and cardigan that I had completely forgotton about making her a new nightgown. It was one of those, I'm too tired to do anything about it moments. And then, because it's become a tradition of sorts, I couldn't bare letting a birthday gift opening go without a new nightgown. I'm sure that she would have be fine without one...but me, well darn it, as it turns out traditions are important to me!
This fabric is just so fun it seemed perfect for a birthday nightgown!
I thought I'd "jazz" up the plain blue front a bit adding some birthday balloons using this stamp set ...
Though, since I was in a hurry scrambling to sew, stamp and dry the nightgown along with a grocery store run, and cake and dinner making...I admit, it's not my best stamping job... The birthday girl didn't seem to mind though.
Sometimes, when I'm in the moment of getting the "tradition" together I think to myself...silly, it's not that big of a deal...and it's not really. But, then, the look on their faces...
that's the thing that gets me every time!
And so I continue in upholding the traditions, perhaps sometimes unnecessarily. And, we keep making more traditions each year, like birthday photo books and a birthday poem both begun last February, both inspired by the kids getting older and knowing how much they hold on to these memories and traditions...
This year's birthday poem began on my run that morning...it took me a few days to finish it, but I finally finished yesterday. I've not written poems often lately, but with the amount of poem writing Violet does around here, it's hard not to be inspired...and to feel like you want to give her back something for all she's written.
The Birthday is Nine
Crows cackled as they flew east toward a magenta fireball of sun, rising below a fish scaled sky.
The calendar showed winter but the morning sounds of birds and the feel and taste of the air told a different story...
one of spring...
but let us not get ahead of ourselves...
Before spring, there's one little thing. Well, not so little in fact, a birthday!
Birthdays are never little, despite perhaps the celebrant’s stature.
Birthdays are big!
Meant to be celebrated, meant to be a bit more special than yesterday or tomorrow.
This birthday is 9.
The birthday girl has not yet surpassed her mamma in height, but that's only a matter of time.
What she lacks in height she makes up for in her copious creativity.
She wanders off and moments later returns with a new poem, song, story, picture...
Her smile makes her eyes twinkle and her kind heart warms those around her.
She steps into nine somewhat ambivalent.
Uncertain what it carries with it.
But the worry falls away because 8 was great and 9 will be fine!
The sun set as a special dinner was being cooked, as a cake was being iced, as cards were being opened…and, a newly nine year old noticed there was one extra dollar tucked inside her cards this year!
Here's to tradition, old, new and yet to come!