Sunday, April 12, 2009

Making Holiday Memories

I have vivid memories of Easter when I was growing up: waking up early to see what the Easter bunny left for me in my basket, going to church with my family in my prettiest dress, devouring jelly beans (licorice ones first) to my heart's content, and then spending the afternoon at my grandmother's house with all of my cousins where we would have an easter egg hunt that always included marshmallow bunny candies. It was the same every year. It was tradition.

I find myself having to carry on and create new traditions for my girls as life has left me in charge of this by rendering me motherless or maybe just by the rite of passage that all young mother's must go through - a sort of "passing of the torch", if you will. It is sad and strange to me, that my extended family does not put forth any effort to celebrate holidays much anymore, as we've all segregated ourselves to our own nuclear families. It is strange to me that we didn't grow up that way as children, yet that is the only way our children will know. It is another reminder that I have become a matriarch in my family, whether I wanted it that way or not.

As such, I do whatever I can to make holidays as special as I can for my children, by mingling memories of my childhood and my mother with new ideas I conjure up along the way. Today was no different.

At dawn, my girls awoke to the joy that is the Easter basket. Amidst the modern trinkets and toys there were parts of my Easters past - a jelly bean-filled basket (no grass, the way my mom did it) and a chocolate bunny (to keep in the freezer and snack on for a while!). We went to Easter services, my girls in matching dresses, and let them snack on their jelly beans when we arrived back home. Later that afternoon, we went to Nana and Popo's house (my in-laws), where they enjoyed their easter egg hunt with their cousins.

As we went through their stash after the hunt, we came across a familiar confection - a marshmallow bunny. Big Sis, deciding the candy was "ew, gross" was kind enough to let mama have it. I opened the cellophane wrapper, lovingly eyed the pink marshmallow bunny, and took a bite. In an instant, I was transported back to my grandmother's front yard, filled with my giggling cousins and candies as far as the eye could see.

It was then I knew that this is how I want to it be for my kids, the same every year.

This is what makes the memories... the tradition.


Jennifer said...

I'm with ya. We had very similar traditions. It is so hard when the "family" grows up, grows apart and some of them leave forever. But it is so wonderful to see the joy in our kids faces as we creat new memories and traditions.

Anonymous said...

I'm right there with Big Sis (maybe because I am one)...I never liked the marshmallow candies either :)