Several weeks ago I got a phone call from Fairy at 8:00 pm.
Fairy: Gammy, do you want to come over for some strawberry shortcake and watch “So You Think You Can Dance?” with us?
NOTE: If you don’t know already, my grandbabies are dancers. They started taking lesson when they were 2 and have never stopped. This year Fairy made “Company” at her dance studio. She will be taking 12 classes in the fall. These girls LOVE to dance. Watching “So You Think You Can Dance?” is like doing research… not to be taken lightly!
Me: Can I come over in my nightgown? I’m already dressed for bed.
Fairy: ((giggling)) YES! We have our pajamas on, too!
So, Tim and I got in the car, drove the 2 miles to their house, had strawberry shortcake, then settled in on the couch to watch “So You Think You Can Dance?”
Before we left…
Pixie: Gammy, will you come back next week and watch?
Pixie: Wear your pjs!
And, that, is how traditions are born. Now, every Wednesday evening, donning my flannel nightgown, we go over to the wee one’s house, and watch “So You Think You Can Dance?”. Yes, it’s rather weird leaving the house in broad daylight in a nightgown. If I see my neighbors I simply smile and wave. They probably wonder why Tim keeps driving me around in my nightgown, and if they asked, I’d simply say, “Tradition”.
Traditions are important to children, actually, traditions are important to everyone. They can be grand like the celebration of an important holiday or as simple as watching television with your Gammy in her pajamas. When my grandbabies grow up, I am certain they will remember these evenings, curled up on the couch, oooing and awing at the remarkable dancers, with all of us wearing pajamas. Would they remember if I came over in street clothes? Maybe. But there is something remarkable to them, and probably deliciously ludicrous, to have your Gammy visiting in pajamas! We’ve created a tradition.
Traditions, grand or simple, have one thing in common… they are important! You can count on traditions, they are predictable, and they solidify memories. Making traditions is important. They take the common place and make it special, even if it is as simple as having your silly Gammy come over in her pajamas!
BTW… talk about traditions (or obsessions)… the featured nightgown comes from L.L.Bean. It is the ONLY nightgown I’ve worn for the past 20 years. Doesn’t matter if it’s summer or winter, I wear my vintage L.L.Bean nightgown. Over the years I have bought more, but I still have my original, the elbows have long since been worn away, just to be patched with mismatched pieces of flannel. Three hang in my closet as we speak. A couple of years ago I began to worry that they might stop making them. I bought 3 more nightgowns, which I have tucked away in a cedar chest, “just in case”. What can I say? I am a creature of habit… nah, a Tradionalist!!!
What simple, and perhaps silly, traditions have become a part of your family’s life?