Is anyone sick of me writing about spring yet? Well, it's here now! The First Day of Spring. We officially began seeing robins on Friday too. Every year after we see our first robin, we have a Welcome the Robins party. The first year we did it, my mom even found fabric with robins on it and made Lucy (then 9 months old) a dress. I'll see if Elaine can fit in it this year; she's quite a bit smaller than Lucy ever was. Then we make robin treats. This involves melting chocolate chips and butterscotch chips. Then you stir in Chinese noodles and form little bird's nests out of them. After they cool on wax paper, you put in 2-3 pale blue peanut M&Ms for the eggs. Then we have a tea party. I'm not sure how much the robins benefit from this, but it makes us feel good.
I love traditions. My friend Julie's husband laughs at us because he says if she and I do something one time, it automatically becomes a tradition. We like it though. We've been friends since we were 4, so we've collected quite a few traditions: celebrating anything momentous by splitting an entire box of sugar wafers; going out for fishsticks and apple pie in May because we like to make fun of Gwyneth Paltrow (who somehow got to be nicknamed "Fishstick" in the tabloids and then named her daughter that ridiculous name, Apple); calling anytime we sit around and chat a "frit"--(this should be accompanied with red licorice. For example: if we sit together and talk, it's called "sit-n-frit." If we talk on the phone, "Phone-frit"; email "e-frit" you get the picture. The only difference is if we take a walk, then it's called "walk-n-squawk.") (Reading back over this paragraph, all the traditions seem to involve food. But then, what good tradition doesn't?)
Anyway, traditions are important. I think they build up friendships and families, and they let you know who you are. I'm hoping the girls enjoy the traditions we have and also that they think up some of their own. This past Christmas, Lucy decided all by herself that on Christmas Eve, we should put on our pajamas, take candles outside and light them, look up into the sky, and sing "Happy Birthday" to Jesus. It was so nice, and I'm glad she thought of it. I've got some great resources for ideas of things to do the week before Easter, and hopefully I'll be able to write about those in the next couple of weeks.
Another sign of spring: Elaine is wearing her Chinese sandals for the first time. They have squeakers in the heels, and she's enjoying them hugely. She still can't walk by herself yet. Personally, I think she can, but it's a confidence issue. She still needs to hang on a bit. But with her squeaker shoes, she held my finger and took off in a run. Pretty soon she'll let go, and my baby will be walking all around.
So, the loooooong winter is over and if you could overhear at our house, you'd hear the sounds of a tea party and a little person making a lot of squeaky noises with her feet. And if you see a robin, give them a welcome back nod and smile!