When our kids were little we decided to have a birthday tradition for each of our them. Since we had so many kids (9), we thought this would be a fun way to give each child some special attention on their birthday. The crazier the tradition, the more the kids loved it! One of our favorites was “Floating the Birthday Cake.” We were usually at Bear Lake when we celebrated our little Saydi’s birthday tradition of rigging up some sort of “floaty” to float her cake on the lake every August 12th. Crazy but fun. Every year the excitement built as we anticipated floating the cake. Even when Saydi was at the MTC (Missionary Training Center) on her birthday as she prepared to serve her mission in Spain she got messages from several siblings saying, “Saydi, I floated a cupcake in the sink for you today!”
You just never know where a tradition will go! As fate would have it, we have a granddaughter who was also born on that day and she joined Saydi with her birthday tradition. Aunt and niece are glued together forever with that little tradition.
Believe it or not, Richard’s birthday tradition almost trumped Halloween every year. Since his birthday is October 28th, we loved going down to Liberty Park and jumping in the leaves. We raked them, threw them, stuffed them down each other’s backs and buried the birthday boy in them. As the years went by, the teenagers really got into it. They wanted to invite their friends, have hot chocolate, jump out of the trees into the leaves.
The first year our children started filing out of the house, we were missing three of them all at once. All three happened to be on missions for our church. Our two older daughters were in Bulgaria and Romania and our son was in England and we were sorely missing them. However, they each sent a letter for Dad to open on his birthday. Without talking to each other, each contained a leaf. The girls sent sweet messages that reminded their dad that even though they were far away, they were still members of the family! Our son just sent a leaf. We were sure he thought, “Dad will know what it means!”
We were in a sweet place this year on October 28th because, after having several years with kids too far away to come home for the birthday, five of our grandchildren have moved to Ogden (with their parents), just an hour door to door…so the tradition continues….in person:
Traditions may be more important than we can ever guess. They just may be the super glue that holds our families together forever!