Three more days y’all, and it’ll be the end of the month. Three days, including today. Is everyone ready for November? 2020 has been interesting so far. Here’s to hoping that November doesn’t have anything… interesting in store for us going forward. I know that we have the elections coming up here in the United States, but y’all have to realize that we won’t know the results of that for weeks — maybe months — because of all of the absentee ballots. This, in many ways, is not our normal election. I will not be sitting on the edge of my seat waiting the results on November 3. Nope, that just won’t be the way this year. But enough of our elections. Honestly, I just want it to be over. But enough of that. On to today’s question, which is: What small traditions have been passed down in your family?
Note, dear reader, that this question doesn’t specifically ask about holiday traditions. Stretch your mind, dear reader, because many people will automatically go to “holiday” when speaking of traditions. But a tradition, by definition is a …transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation, or the fact of being passed on in this way. (Google definition) That means any custom or belief. It reminds me of a joke I heard:
A daughter was watching her mom make a cake one day and when the cake went in the oven the mom also put a pan of water in with it. When the daughter asked why the pan of water went in the oven too, the mom said, “That’s how my mom always made cake, so I do too.” Every time the mom made a cake, she put a pan of water in the oven with it. The cakes always came out moist and delicious so she never questioned it. Years later, the daughter was making a cake and she went to put the pan of water in the oven too, but before she did she decided to call her grandma and ask why she needed the pan of water. The grandma laughed and said, “Oh dear. Sweetie I put a pan of water in my oven because my racks were uneven.”
I mean, the pan of water didn’t hurt, but it wasn’t necessary either. I think there are a lot of family traditions that are like that. We do them because they’ve always been that way. My family doesn’t have a lot of traditions. One is holiday oriented — we eat spaghetti and open one present on Christmas Eve. That’s always been something we’ve done in our family. There are a few others, that have to do with the holidays, but… I don’t follow them anymore. For… reasons. Anyway, the only other tradition I can think of that was passed down on my mom’s side was to not name kids after anyone in the family. Like we went out of our way to name our kids different from anyone in the family. My first mother in law got very offended by that, but totally didn’t care. I wasn’t naming any of my kids after anyone because the hate and vitriol it causes when you name one kid after someone and not another person is just too much hassle. My sister, on the other hand, named her first kid after her first husband and her second kid after herself. So, she broke that tradition.
I also used to crack jokes about how on my mom’s side of the family we “breed young” My great grandma had my grandma when she was seventeen, my grandma had my mom when she was sixteen. My mom had us when she was eighteen, I think. I had my daughter when I was seventeen, and my daughter had her son when she was sixteen. I don’t know if that could be considered a “tradition” per se, but it did lead to us having parents and grandparents who were way younger than our peers. Now, my oldest kind of broke that “tradition” by having a son, but what can you do. My twin’s oldest didn’t have a kid until she was in her twenties, but her second kid, who is only a year younger, started having kids when she was about seventeen, so she carried on the tradition on my twin’s side of the family. Another thing our family (on my mom’s side) does is have a lot of kids in quick succession. Like, my grandma had five kids in as many years, my mom had four kids in five years then one eleven years later, I had four kids in four years, and my sister had two kids with her first husband in two years, then got divorced and a few years later had two more. My twin’s second kid has four kids. My kids are breaking tradition. My oldest has one kid. That’s it. I’m okay with that. Some traditions don’t need to be carried on. Just saying. If my kids don’t want kids, that’s their choice. I’m perfectly fine with not being a grandma. Like, my identity does not revolve around anything outside of myself, including whether my children have children. I never understood that mentality. But I’m weird that way I suppose.
Anyway, I’m way tired right now and my body is screaming at me. Sorry if this was a bit of a ramble. I hope that this flare passes soon. I’m gonna take some Excedrin to take the edge off and kick back for a while. Take care y’all.