Sterling and I spent Thursday through Saturday afternoon chaperoning a church youth trip. It was a great experience, but by Saturday night we were beat. I half-heartedly asked the kids if they really NEEDED the traditional Easter egg hunt, because, I was thinking that I couldn't possibly summon the energy to find the eggs, stuff the eggs, and then hide the eggs early in the morning. Turns out they did NEED the hunt, and I had to soldier on. As Sterling and I sat filling plastic eggs at 11 PM, he turned to me and said, "I think we are the only parents in America still hiding eggs for teenagers."
His statement gave me pause. You see, I'm torn between the freedom of letting the traditions fall by the wayside and the need to hold onto them like a tenacious pit bull. I could go either way -- depending on the day. Annie's post yesterday on "secure bases" immediately made me think of holiday traditions. There is definitely comfort in reenacting celebrations each year. I think that's primarily why Rebecca was adamant we have the Easter egg hunt. With Madison accepted to college and Jordan leaving for France, things are changing pretty rapidly in our family at the moment. I think for Rebecca, it's important to celebrate the sameness -- to reinforce that her life will remain stable and secure here at home. (Or I could be making all of this up because I'm no psychology expert). Regardless, Jordan called up from college lamenting that she wouldn't be hunting with us this year. And let me be clear, our "hunt" is a seven minute walk through our tiny backyard where the kids pick up Reeses peanut butter cups and bite-size Snickers encased in plastic eggs. What is there to miss?
For Easter dinner we were invited, along with my two brothers and sister (and their families), to my parents' house. In discussing the menu I told my mom I would really like to have some Pink Fluff. My mom made a face, as if Pink Fluff was made of a mixture of mold, toe cheese, and ear wax, when, in actuality, it's comprised of jello, cool whip, grapes, coconut, and mandarin oranges. Admittedly, our foodie family has bypassed the days of jello. But I remember many a year that the Pink Fluff graced our Sunday dinner table, and I wanted to revisit those cool whipped-days of yore.
I suppose there is probably some happy middle ground wherein we keep the traditions that are especially meaningful, while creating new traditions that are suited to older kids. For a few years we held a family game night on Sunday evenings. The last two winters we've taken our kids on a family ski trip. Now that we have drivers, the girls do an all day, sisters-only, back-to-school shopping trip, wherein they can try on every last pair of skinny jeans at the mall without their mother's head exploding. See? Something for everyone!
What about you? Any ideas for fun big kid traditions?