One of the best parts about being a kid is being allowed to get excited about EVERYTHING. I think that as a parent, it is part of our job as raising and loving our children to give them things to get excited about. My husband and I have tried to start our own family traditions and carry on some that our parents started with us as kids.
Some of the ones we had as kids were things like my husband going to Pittsburgh Pirates baseball games with his grandfather and eating at certain restaurants (restaurants that we still make sure we take his grandfather to when we're all there together). For me, some things I looked forward to, and still do when I visit my parents, are my mom's Saturday morning breakfasts. She would get up and cook eggs, bacon, perogies, toast with jelly, and sausages cooked in real New England maple syrup. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Sunday mornings, before church, she would make omelets for everyone. Every Friday night, my husband's grandparents would take him out to dinner. After my dad got his motorcycle, I looked forward to Saturday mornings that I'd get to go on rides with him. Christmas morning, my sister makes delicious home made cinnamon buns. Around Christmas time, as kids, my parents used to drive us around the neighborhoods at night to look at the lights. At Halloween, our family carved pumpkins and we all voted on who's is the best and that person got a prize. Now, it seems that whenever there's a large group of people at my parent's house, its tradition to have a huge bonfire (and sometimes the cops, hahaha). These things I looked forward to as a kid and all of them I still look forward to.
Kids NEED something to look forward to. Kids NEED to feel special and loved. They NEED to feel like their parents care about them and want to spend time with them. This does NOT change over time. I still have that same need and desire. It is important to me to satisfy that need for my kids.
One of the traditions we have started is Friday night Pajama Parties. It starts with us eating something fun like pizza or tacos for dinner (and mommy having a cup or two of tea to help me unwind a little). After, we clean up and start to work on the late night munchies. Tonight, we will be baking cookies. Also, we will be munching on a "Cobourn" (my maiden name) classic. I have no idea where my parents got the idea from but we eat M&M's in our popcorn. I hate eating my popcorn any other way. It used to gross out my husband until he realized that the popcorn doesn't end up tasting like candy. There's just something about the sweet and salty mix...Anyway, the kids ask for theirs with m&m's in it now too. After we get the snacks ready, we get into our PJ's, the hubby pulls the mattress off the guest bed and brings it into the living room, we gather all the blankets and pillows and plop down on the mattress for movie time. Its as simple as that. Its just glorified movie time but the kids love it. The grandeur of it all makes it even more fun for them and different from any other "movie night". Its inexpensive and it brings us all together. All of us end up falling asleep on the mattress and I'll wake up tomorrow morning and make pancakes for every one.
I used to think it was weird when I'd hear adults say that they liked being home more than anything else. I think it was weird to me just because I was young and wanted to hang out with my friends. I understand now though. There is nothing in the world that makes me happier than being home with my husband and children just hanging out. I like spending time in the home that I've worked hard with my husband to create. I enjoy the fruits of my labor (that includes the kids I've popped out).
Here's to sharing joy with my children and my husband.