What Are Your Traditions?


Seven days ago on March 19th a few steps were taken back in time down the carpeted stairs of my red brick home.  There, below the main level slept a spare bedroom with a nondescript bathroom.   Together, they waited all cozy and warm for March Madness to begin.

A buzz was in the air, much like you see and feel during holidays minus decorations everywhere.  Our big television was ablaze in all its LCD glory!  Red, white, royal blue and emerald-green uniforms waited for imaginary cheerleaders to jump out of their metal chairs.  To the left, a natural wicker table was set for a boys day of play.  On top, colorful bowls and baskets overflowed with taco chips, salsa dips, chicken wings and candy in case of low blood sugar attacks.

Ding-Ding!  What was that I heard?  ‘Doodle’ dog barking at the leaded glass door up above.  Running to open it, there he stood.  My oldest son, Jay, who took time off from work in order to watch basketball with his brother and father.  It had been a long-standing tradition in our small family for years and years.  Ever since the boys were very young like my husband had once been too.

In bounced my son’s service dog, Nimbus, his jet black tail knocking everything off tables before I had time to get to them.  Nothing mattered.  How glad I was to see them both!  Doodles jumped up and down with kisses of, “Hello.”  The two dogs rolled on the floor then chased each other all over the house.  Soon, the lab’s master firmly commanded, “PLACE!”

Minutes later, my youngest son popped over, jovial with a bear hug for his mama.  Warmth through and through.  A few minutes later my husband arrived home from his trip on the road, delighted to see his two sons already waiting for him.  So thrilled he was at the prospect of tradition.  Basketball together with March Madness plus so much more.

Jay and his dog were spending the night.  Too late to drive home after games played into overtime, he planned to sleep in a room that had once been his own.  How kind of his wife to extend this special gift to her husband.  Bonding time with his father and brother like no other.  Rare in these days of work that included varied shifts of hours never known.  Days and nights of travel, duplicate families, little children and babies of all ages.  Yes, grown-up lives….

And, an enormous “Thank You,” to my youngest son’s wife for holding down the fort all by herself with three babies at home.  Yes, three.  T.H.R.E.E!  Twins girls who are three months old plus a 17 month old daughter scattering every which way!  Such a gift to us all, but especially to my husband who rarely has such special time with both of his sons together.

March Madness.  Yes it’s about basketball, but in our house it’s so much more.  When I hear those two words, “March Madness,” it’s not a brown ball tossed through a hoop of white rope that comes to mind.

No, to me March Madness is all about tradition.  The tradition of family.  Bonding over munchies set on an old table of wicker.  Screaming faces in front of a screen that doesn’t respond.  Brackets, favorites, cheering and choosing.  Stomping feet, tossing heads in disbelief or smiling faces slapping high-fives!  Balancing paper plates on laps of sweat pants while taking notes with pencils of yellow.  Wiping mouths with printed paper napkins or hopping up in the air to yell, “No Fair!”

And, in the end hugging Good Bye to a son and brother in the dark of night.

Tradition….

24 thoughts on “What Are Your Traditions?

  1. Hmmmm. I guess, in my family, we don’t have many unique traditions, as we often gather for birthdays and holidays. My mother does like having dinner with her children and grandchildren at least one Sunday a month, so I guess that is one. I like some little common moments, like changing the oil with my dad… I really enjoy that one, since he is an engineer. Another would be going fishing with my brothers or going hunting for morels in the spring with my sister and her family. We’ll be planting bulbs in their garden in a few weeks, some gladiolus, ranunculus, anemone, and windflowers, so I can’t wait to get hands dirty and dig… and then watch them transform, grow, and bloom into something completely colorful, vibrant, and beautiful. 🙂 Great post, Kim!

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    • Pete, those are all terrific family traditions, and you are lucky in the fact that you get together with your family much more often than we are able to do!!! You are one of the few who have been able to ‘share’ in the sporting event traditions with my boys of big and small. Perhaps one day I will write about Michigan Football! Thanks so much for reading and sharing your own traditions, Pete. Loved learning more about you! 🙂

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    • I’m not a ‘sports’ gal at all. SO surprising that my husband even bothered to marry me. But, I so love the way they LOVE the game and how it brings us together. Do you have something similar in Australia, or are we the crazies over here for basketball? Thanks for reading, Laurie. 🙂

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      • I’m not much of a sports bloke either Kim. I never played team sports, mine were the solitary ones: swimming, body building, archery and rifle/pistol shooting. We have our sports crazies here don’t worry. There’s cricket, rugby league, rugby union and Australian rules football. All the other sports are played but the main contenders are playing cricket against England and the football grand finals. Basketball doesn’t have a big following and baseball is played but it takes a very minor role. 🙂

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      • Australia has more than I was aware of, but much different than the states. I do ‘admit’ to being a baseball fan. But, I live in St. Louis, home of the champion team, the Cardinals. Only 8 more days till “Opening Day!” 😊

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      • Well, I’m born and bred in Michigan, so I have to admit that my heart first belonged to the, Detroit Tigers. My grandparents used to sneak me away for a trip to the game (2 hours south of my home). A bag of peanuts with a bottle of pop while sitting in bleachers of green was pure heaven! I even named my first born son after a player I had a crush on at the time! Ahhh, young love!! 🙂

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      • Its quite an interesting look into this side of you Kim. Crush on a player indeed. 🙂 We moved that much that there was never anytime to connect with a sports team. Sounds like you’re quite the fan though. 🙂

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    • Thanks so much, Ian. We’ll see if all our little ‘grand-girls’ are upstairs playing dolls with “Grandma” or downstairs watching the game? Our one baby grandson doesn’t stand a chance, I fear. He’ll be cuddled down in the sofa next year with a bottle in his mouth!

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  2. This was a great way to describe the tradition of father and sons, together making their ‘brackets’ and rooting for their special teams, building up the fun and competitive atmosphere of “March Madness,” Kim!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Robin. It so warms my heart to see ‘my boys’ enjoy being together. Brings back the days when my sons still lived at home….simple life and love, I guess. Of course, that’s when ‘traditions’ begin.

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