"I guess I'd better go make my tacos," my friend Andrea said before hanging up the phone. "I was telling my daughter's friend today that I wished I had made something more exciting for dinner seven years ago, but we can't change it now."
Every year on the first day of school, Andrea serves her family tacos for dinner. Though the menu is a common one in their home, not reserved solely for the first day of school, it's something comforting and also exciting in its routine. To me, that's what makes a tradition. The predictability of routine and knowing what to expect is comfortable. And yet, knowing what is coming is also somewhat exciting. I can imagine that as her kids left their bikes in the driveway and walked into the kitchen after their first day, they were excited to see the hamburger meat defrosting or the taco shells out on the counter.
It got me wishing that I had a first-day-of-school tradition (other than the big whoop of excitement I give as I welcome my freedom, but the kids don't get to experience that).
Last week I followed @MawBooks' tweet to her review of Dork Diaries. It sounded exactly like the kind of book Amanda would like, so I clicked through the amazon link on her blog, and stuck it in my shopping cart to think about it (This is the best way to show your appreciation to those who recommend books. If you like them, buy them via the link. Most of us have associates' accounts and get a slight little commission, and it tells us what we've blogged about that you liked).
It was sitting in my cart, and I realized that I had an amazon gift certificate to use (thanks to those of you who do click through and place orders through my links -- seriously -- thanks). I thought that a fun new book might be a nice welcome back-to-school treat to give her.
We have a rule that Kyle has to stay in bed until 7:00am. Since he's started reading, I occasionally see books on or beside his bed with which he's tried to occupy himself until the clock changed to the magic number. I thought of the library book that I've seen on Kyle's bed every single morning for the last couple of weeks. When it comes time to return this book, we might have a little meltdown, so I had been thinking that someone should buy it for him for Christmas.
Two books that I knew my children would love. An amazon certificate. The first day of school. It all equals a new first-day-of-school tradition!
When my kids get home on Wednesday, they'll each have a new book to enjoy. And although they don't know it yet, I think that I'll make it our new tradition.
Read my updated post about the first day of school for the results of my surprise.
A fun new tradition is what Works for Me. Visit We are THAT Family to get other tips from around the blogopshere. Although we are still invited to post any tip, this week's theme is organizing tips. I need help in that area, although I do feel a bit more together after reading Growing Up Organized (linked to my review).