We've been away, briefly. Very briefly. Had to recharge our batteries at the annual Diller Family Resort Retreat. Last year's post here. (Boy, I was on the ball last year.)
My suspicions are confirmed: Children adore tradition. They do anything together twice, it's automatically a family tradition, graven in stone to be reenacted until the end of time.
Uncle Mike, you're taking us to hunt for golf balls after supper, right? It's a tradition.
Is Nonnie making her special hot fudge sauce? It's a tradition.
Ian always makes a giant sand sculpture and wishes the other kids would help him. It's a tradition.
I think it's innate in a child's DNA to hunger for family traditions, as a source of security, stability, and knee-slapping reminiscences with grown cousins.
Of course, they also hunger for ice cream sundaes and pretty much anything else, as long as it's not their designated mealtime ... but that's another story.
This year, in addition to the usual hours spent at the pool, we worked in a mini-golf outing. Next year? It's a tradition.
And on that note, here are a few of the gifts I'm counting today ...
157. A family that enjoys being together, despite our varied personalities and nuclear family cultures. Our common bonds draw us together. The differences are there to teach us that people show they care in different ways ... and that's okay.
158. Twelve of us playing Cranium Whoonu . (We love this game. It's gone over big with both extended families and has livened up the occasional dinner table as well.)
159. Titus and Stephanie, for keeping our dog all weekend and lavishing him with TLC.
160. Spring budding everywhere, beguiling us with peeps of color.
161. Family movie viewing: Secretariat. Love love love. Could write a whole post on the example of Penny Chenery as inspirational mother and mentor to her family.
162. Good advice from my mother-in-law when I needed it.
163. Staying up late to chat and pray together.
164. A book that made my sunglasses slide down my face, I was such a blubbering wreck at the end. Kleenex, please!
165. The fact that we have a house to come home to. (Can you tell this was my response to my own whiny, "But I do'wanna come home! Wanna still be on vacation!")
166. Remembering that my children's less comely behavior is simply a learning opportunity for both of us.
167. Helping my son build his crocodile in the sand ... because it's the connection that matters, and he's almost too big to need my help. More Kleenex, please!