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New Traditions from Old

12 Days of Thanksgiving: DAY FIVE

I’m beginning to get excited about Thanksgiving week! This year we’re forming a new tradition. I don’t know if it will stick, but it harkens back to Thanksgiving holidays I remember from my childhood.

This year, my kids and I are spending a week at our family farm for Thanksgiving. Little Drummer Boy is out of school for a week. Bug and Baby Girl’s preschool is closed for half the week, and I’ve already mentioned the blessing of working in a way that allows me to go mobile and cater my work schedule to the needs of the rest of my life.

The plans began in October when we were there for a weekend to celebrate my birthday. Actually I guess they began several weeks before that when I was fielding nightly questions about when we were going to “the farm.” The birthday weekend trip which we call the “Busy Bee Birthday Bonfire Bash” (you can thank my mother for the alliteration) has gained quite a following with the boys. They are old enough to recognize that it’s a tradition and that there’s a red wagon at the farm to pull or ride in. And a tractor and pastures and gravel roads to walk and a gazillion rocks and leaves and the occasional lizard to explore. They are old enough to remember last year’s bonfire which cooked our hot dogs and s’mores. After this year’s shindig, I think Baby Girl has formed her own memories now. At least she’s formed her own ability to ask for the umpteenth time when we’re going back.

So, we’re going back to the farm for Thanksgiving. It’s the first time I’ve spent the holiday there since I was in high school. The place has many memories for me. Many moments that seem to ground my life. My mom grew up there. My dad farmed there. My grandparents lived there. None of that is happening anymore, but the power of the place for me hasn’t changed. I spent many weekends there and somehow had the concepts of family and fun and celebrations and holidays and living better sewn into my fabric there.

It’s different for my kids. They have their own grandparent’s house to visit. For them, no one lives at the farm. There aren’t as many cows or people driving by. We’re not there every weekend. For LDB, Bug and Baby Girl, it seems to exist just for them. To wait for their arrival. Which it kind of does. And which it maybe did for me in a way.

The farm at Thanksgiving was a tradition for me. An old one. One that was a tradition for my mother and my grandmother. This year, that tradition becomes new for MY sons and daughter. And I think that’s pretty amazing. More amazing is the thought that this year’s new tradition wasn’t my idea. It was Little Drummer Boy’s. It was his heartfelt desire to stay longer during our weekend visit last month that prompted his eager suggestion that we should come back for Thanksgiving. And it was all our collective recognition that this place has a new meaning for a new generation that allows us do this holiday thing differently this year.

I’m sure next week along about Day 10 or 11 I’ll have a bonafide “things I’m thankful for” list to share from the farm. Today it’s the anticipation of fresh air, contagious giggles, concentrated time with my sweet kiddos and the opportunity to make old traditions new. It’s the chance to weave some of the farm into THEIR fabric.

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