Every fall since becoming a mother, I’ve continued a tradition that my mother started when my brother and I were small children.
We bake treats, we dress up in Halloween costumes, and we surprise family and friends with a visit at their home or work.
We never tell anyone we are coming (it’s so much more fun to surprise everyone). This means that sometimes we knock on doors and nobody is home, or that we have inadvertently chosen a day when that person isn’t at work. But this also means that we make plenty of impromptu stops for people we didn’t plan on seeing and the day is always full of visits and surprises and fun.
This year was extra special as my sister in law, Rhiannon, and our family’s latest member – her son – were able to join us! It was so fun to share the day and this tradition with them. I no longer have any living grandfathers, so I was delighted to get to visit Rhiannon’s grandpa that day. Once a granddaughter, always a granddaughter, I guess.
This year was also special because last year was the only time since Theo’s birth that we didn’t do this tradition. Theo was in kindergarten and it was a very hard year for all of us and I couldn’t bring myself to carry on the tradition without him. But this year, we are homeschooling and WE get to make our own schedule! It felt so good to be out together, surprising those we love with homemade treats and cute costumes and big smiles.
This year the boys made brownies, but mixed in some extra goodness (peanut butter chips) and topped them off with crunched up pretzels. They were so proud of their creation, and I was so proud of mine. 😉 It thrilled my momma heart to see them swept away in the excitement and taking full responsibility for the treat.
I know they say that the best thing about traditions is the comfort you feel from a known and expected experience, and I can see how that is true. But also, I think traditions are great because they are this thing that you get to grow and expand from it’s original tiny seed of inspiration into a full blown work of art that moves and grows and shifts and becomes.
I believe a good tradition isn’t static and stiff. It’s an ocean of experience that ebbs and flows. It brings you a point of view that informs who you are and who you want to be. But also, it removes the noise and excess of our daily life. A good tradition is simplicity in motion, but also, it is creation. It creates something in each of us: Anticipation. Joy. Creativity. Remembrance. Fun. Hope. Love.