I come from two VERY large Catholic families so I have PLENTY of memories of rituals/traditions from my childhood. We also gathered annually for most of my childhood, giving me even more to remember. I don’t know if my kids will walk away with these type of memories, they should at least remember Sunday dinners. But I’m not sure if they’ll view that as anything funny/weird. What I’m sure they’ll reflect on as grown-ups is one of the funniest/coolest things of all: NORM.
Donnie’s Mom has a beautiful backyard deck/garden/walkway and there were gnomes there as long as I can remember. As the kids got a little older (maybe after Wes was born, but when Nikki was old enough to walk/talk) she started walking them around and showing them the gnomes. Which Nikki called “Norms” for the longest time. Well, one day she left them a little treat in the garden and said that Norm brought it. And now…YEARS later, every time we have family dinner at their house? The kids go look to see what Norm brought them. What makes it funniest of all is that they tell other people about Norm, kinda assuming other people know a Norm somewhere that brings them treats. And of course, no one does. So…if there’s one childhood memory my kids walk away with from family gatherings? It will be Norm.
- I remember games of Trivial Pursuit at gatherings on my Mom’s side. Her siblings sitting around playing, and me being allowed to sit in since I was the oldest grandchild. I maybe knew ONE answer any single time we played and grew up thinking it was the HARDEST GAME EVER. As an adult I still feel a lot of pride when I can answer a question.
- I remember my paternal grandfather ALWAYS buttering a piece of white bread at dinner/lunch. No matter what we were eating, there was always a plate of white bread on the table.
- I remember my paternal grandmother sitting on a stool in her kitchen, talking to the crew that always gathered in there to visit. The kitchen was carpeted and we would just all sit on the floor watching her cook.
- I remember my aunt letting me do her hair and makeup at one of the gatherings on my Mom’s side of the family when I was a teenager. I had NO idea what I was doing but it was nice of her to let me play.
- I remember puzzles being ever-present at my Dad’s family gatherings. They were just out the entire week and everyone would stop by and help periodically. I still have a love of puzzles to this day, fostered from that tradition.
I’m sending out daily NaBloPoMo prompts via email. If you want to get on the list, fill out the form on this entry. If you just need an idea for TODAY use anything I wrote about here, or enjoy this idea from today’s email prompt: What is one funny family gathering story you have from your childhood? Did you brother puke sweet potatoes after your Mom forced him to “try” some? Mine Did.