I don't like inviting new people into old traditions. It bothers me. I am a creature of habit, structure and continuity (for the most part).
I want my traditions to be the same. Kev and I have only established a few traditions thus far in our life and while there will be more (this I am sure of) as our life progresses, right now our traditions are limited. The kids will always receive a chocolate orange in their Christmas stocking each year, and wake up to a room full of balloons on the morning of their birthday. Each year we will go to the Lovely Bee's & Tree's for hot cider, fresh honey and a one of a kind Christmas ornaments; and every October our little family will venture to Maris Farms, the best pumpkin patch in all of Western Washington!
And last weekend that is exactly what we did. Fall is my favorite time of the year and nothing says Fall more than a pumpkin patch. So as we drew closer to the middle of the month my anticipation for pumpkin picking and cow train riding grew stronger. Last weekend we dressed the kids up in their pumpkin patch outfits (because I just can't help myself), and headed south for our third annual Maris Farms Pumpkin Patch picking trip...with six extra people. I must admit, I wasn't thrilled at this prospect when it was first presented to me. I loved dearly everyone who wanted to join but my antisocial, tradition loving heart said that this just wasn't right.
We always go, just the four of us, on a weekday when it is peaceful and quite. There is never any objections to what we want to do and we move freely as we please. This is how it supposed to be and this is how it always has been. So the thought of going on a busy weekend with six extra people pulling us in different directions didn't sit well with me. But the next two weeks before Halloween for us were full, and if we were going at all this year it would have to do now. So I swallowed my pride, bit my lip, smiled as though it didn't bother me, and made Kevin promise that next year it would only be us; the way it should be.
Boy am I eating crow!
The previous two years at Maris was perfect for our little family of 3 and then 4. The kids were babies and and having the run of the place was perfect for them. But this year was different. I now have a preschooler and toddler and with their growing age comes a new found freedom; for them and us. This year was different, it was alive, upbeat and fun; and having our extra family there was perfect. The kids ran and played. Kaydence rode a pony for the first time and Kam took his first ride in the cow train. Kev and I had more freedom to enjoy the farm just as much as the kids, as there were others to keep an eye on our little ones. Kev and I regressed in age and enjoyed the activities and attractions made for children and adults alike. We were kids again, sliding down the underground slide and running back to the top of the hill for more. We ate fruit loop kettle corn and funnel cakes with no regrets, and bathed in giant pits of corn kernels. The company was great, the conversation fun, and the memories amazing. And as we pushed our wheelbarrows of pumpkins back to our individual vehicles after hours of fun I couldn't help but feel a little ashamed of my earlier feelings. I had had such a great time it seemed so silly that I been worried in the first place.
And at that point I realized that SOME traditions can be just as great with more people and adaptations, you just need to change your perspective on how you view these experiences.