I have a lot of memories from my childhood. I can recall everything from mixing my mashed potatoes and peas on an old yellow rimmed corning ware plate and slicing it up to eat it like a pie, to pushing the stool up to the counter and climbing on it to reach the adult scissors inside the cupboard. I especially remember the special occasions and the traditions I shared with my family. Every Christmas Eve we would order Chinese food and sit on the floor around the coffee table and eat it with the Christmas tree lit up. One year, I recall the stern look I got after splashing soy sauce on a white plush snowman that hung on the tree. I could even tell you that the snowman was from a set of two and smelled like baby powder. My memories are so vivid that I can remember the emotions I experienced in different situations. For example, I can recall standing at the porch door staring into the dark sky…hoping and praying I would catch a glimpse of Santa and his reindeer, even though I had just learned the truth about his existence. I wanted to believe with every ounce of my heart and I was filled with a mixture of disappointment, skepticism and hope.
My long-term memory has served me well, but I often consider how random my collection of memories are. It’s strange to think of the things that stick and don’t stick….like where I put the keys or what I had for breakfast yesterday. Now that Chase has reached the age of five, I am mindful that what he experiences in his day-to-day life may be preserved in his memory for years to come. It is this that has fueled my motivation to establish special traditions in my family and with my kids and I enjoy having things we look forward to as a family. Chase starts asking about Jasper, our elf on the shelf, every year after Halloween. Clearly a tradition HE looks forward to…. maybe one I regret just a wee bit. Regardless, traditions are a great way to spend meaningful time together to create new memories.
A few years ago, I shared one of our first established family traditions right here on my blog. Read about it here. For 3 years thereafter, we would spend one of our autumn days at a beautiful farm in the Memracook Valley picking pumpkins. Last year after separating from my husband and with a new baby in tow, I was left with the predicament of how to proceed with some of our family born traditions. I came to the conclusion that life will always be sending us new curve balls and our family would continue to transform over the years. If we are to continue with our family traditions then they would have to adapt and change right along with us! That year I went to the pumpkin patch as a single mother of two boys. It ended up being a peaceful experience offering time for reflection and close bonding for my me and my son. Yes, our family may look a little different now, but I was much happier and was able to share that with the kids. I did have to readjust some of our plans to accommodate the single mom gig. I couldn’t exactly carry pumpkins with a baby strapped to me and my preschooler running around. Instead we went on the hay ride to the patch and explored the farm grounds. We came across some beautiful spots off the beaten path that we would have never experienced if we were busy selecting our pumpkins. We happened to visit on one of the last weekends of the blueberry season so we picked blueberries, which was a brand new experience for me!
This year we got to experience our autumn family tradition in new ways yet again. I have since found new love and with new love came an additional two kids. Oh the adventures we have been having! Together, Tim and I chose a new pumpkin patch to visit close to our new home and how fun it was to line our front porch with 6 pumpkins!
So it’s settled in my mind now that no matter what changes we may face as time goes on, we will continue to embrace them and seize the opportunity to share our traditions with new people, in new ways and enjoy the adventures along the way.
If you’d like to see our collection of photos from this years visit to the pumpkin patch, check out the gallery here: 2016 Pumpkin Patch Photo Gallery