When I was a kid, my mother used to make my brother and I waffles, with golden brown grids waiting to be garnished with fresh berries and pools of low calorie syrup. OK, that last bit doesn’t make them sound delicious, but my mother was health conscious – whole wheat, low salt, low fat, low sugar. I still love waffles, though I never get around to actually eating them. That’s probably because I never make them. Instead, I make pancakes.
I don’t even like pancakes.
But pancakes have become a once a weekend tradition for us, with a few weekday mornings from time to time. Buckwheat pancakes, banana pancakes, pumpkin pancakes, pancake sandwiches made with leftover pancakes and almond butter and jam being eaten for snack, syrup smeared on pajama sleeves and noses.
I think it started out of a combination of laziness and forgetfulness – where is that waffle maker, anyway, and is it really worth the effort to try to find it? Oh, fine, I’ll just make pancakes. Wait, you guys like pancakes? Well, OK then. Pancakes it is!
So, now we have a family tradition of pancakes. We are people who make pancakes. In 20 years, my sons will come home for the holidays and request pancakes. Just as I do now, I’ll crack an egg in our yellow mixing bowl, pour in the pancake mix, add a sprinkling of cinnamon, whisk it all up, and throw on a slice of banana or two – and I’ll give them all of the pancakes while I make myself something else.
But I won’t mind. It’s these sort of traditions, especially the ones that involve sharing food (bonus points if food is eaten while in footy pajamas) that build a sense of family. Besides, just thinking of making my kids the same meal for two decades makes me a little pre-nostalgic – and they’re not even in kindergarten yet. By the time they come home and request that I make them the same thing they ate with their pearly baby teeth, I’ll be weeping into the pancake batter.
Another family tradition: family photos every November. So far, “every” means two years in a row – perhaps its a bit early to call it a tradition.
Last year, two-year-old Axel ran away from the camera and made our lovely photographer’s life difficult.
(Axel, Jonas, their cousin Elsa, and my parents)
This year, 16-month-old Jonas took over the role of camera-hater. Still, though, the talented Jenna Walker got gorgeous shots. We love them.
Photos by Jenna Walker