Traditions aren’t just things like turkey at Thanksgiving and presents at Christmas. No, traditions happen all year round. They are the things that you do in your day to day life that can be counted on and looked forward to. But, sadly, sometimes traditions don’t last forever. Memories of things that you used to do can cause a bit of an ache in the heart.
I really didn’t see this one coming…
When my daughter was young we went to Wonderland every summer. We didn’t want to spend exorbitant sums of money on food that we thought was neither healthy nor enjoyable…greasy burgers and fries, or pizza, and pop. A high price for low value didn’t interest us. So, what to do? We decided to take a cooler packed with chicken, potato salad, macaroni salad and green salad, all homemade, of course. There would also usually be tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, cold cuts, bread, fruit, paper plates, napkins, plastic cups and utensils.
We always took Minute Maid pink lemonade to drink, mixed at home in our bright orange with the white handle thermal jug. We would pour in a couple of trays full of ice cubes just before we left home. The ice rattled around inside the jug and kept the lemonade nice and cold for lunch and dinner.
We would arrive at the Wonderland parking lot first thing in the morning, park the car as close to the gate as possible and go have some fun. When lunch time rolled around we would find our way back to the car, take the cooler, the bright orange with the white handle thermal jug filled with pink lemonade and our blanket out of the trunk and find a nice place on the grass to lay out our blanket and enjoy our picnic lunch.
Once we’d had our fill everything would be packed into the cooler which would go back into the trunk of the car until dinner time. We would leave when the park closed, exhausted and happy.
Well, my daughter is older, and so am I. The forays to Wonderland have become further and further apart. It’s not as enjoyable for me now as it once was to stand in lines waiting to get the adrenaline rush that comes with riding roller coasters.
One day my daughter asked me about the bright orange with the white handle thermal jug. She mused with obvious fondness about the rattling noise that the ice used to make when the jug was moved about. She told me that I can “NEVER get rid of the orange jug” because whenever we go to Wonderland it must come too. “It’s a tradition” she says.
Every once in a while I open the cupboard where I keep the bright orange with the white handle thermal jug and look at it and remember with fondness the times we had at Wonderland. But I also have bit of an ache in my heart because my kids are all grown up now and I know that one day the Wonderland visits will stop forever for me.
It’s important to remember when you and your children are young to take the time to spend with them. You never know what will end up being the “bright orange with the white handle thermal jug” in your children’s memories and hearts.