Traditions have power.

They can be like the glue to hold a family together in my opinion, keeping hearts united even when they are far apart.

Especially when the “big” kids spread their wings that take them to new places.

I remember still holding on to my growing-up family traditions when I went off to college. My Dad’s birthday tradition was glorying in the Fall leaves on his birthday (jumping in them, burying each other in them, etc.)

So naturally I thought of my Dad every time the leaves started to pile up along the streets of Boston. And later walking the alleys of Romania.

Each year I would send my dad a few leaves in an envelope (back when you actually sent real letters, and didn’t have FaceTime). I wanted him to know my heart was still with him, even though I wasn’t there in person.

Same with Christmas traditions, and family rituals, and anything we did together, I carried those things with me wherever I went. They made me part of something bigger than myself.

Even though I was grown up and far away, I was still part of that clan that did those (sometimes crazy) things.

Luckily Dave has been onboard to adopt so many of those things into our own family.

(And also, luckily he has brought many things from his own growing-up family.)

So, of course it made me so happy that Carson took the time to help carry on Elle’s birthday tradition even though they were far away and we weren’t all there to help celebrate.

He whipped up our fav. family birthday cake, and figured out a way to float that puppy.

He invited us to FaceTime while they floated that thing in their little pool outside their front door.

(pretty genius with a shoe box I have to say:)

I loved watching from back-to-school night at the high school with those two glowing kids just basking in that funny birthday tradition.

Lucy is big on the bday traditions and helped us do our part to help celebrate too:

(Including pieces put together for her traditional candy bar poster…or was that Grace’s birthday?? I can’t remember.)

Bottom line: family traditions rock.

And I’m so grateful for the ones that stick that help us keep our hearts knit together across the miles.

Some other posts about Family Traditions:

the evolution of the Cake float

Family Testimony Meeting

(Number nine on that list of ten things to foster strong sibling relationships)

Thanksgiving Tree

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