T is for Tradition

I write this post from our synagogue’s library. I coached a fabulous kid about to have his bar mitzvah this morning, working through the finer points of the Torah portion, “Parshat Kedoshim.” I’m watching our cantorial soloist lead kindergarteners through songs in the garden out the window.

This week will be chaotic (more so than some at least). Wise has four hours of rehearsal every night for Fiddler on the Roof, opening next weekend. It’ll be Passover until Saturday night, so we’ll have no throwing together dinners from Kroger’s frozen section.

Our neighborhood’s annual ArtWalk on our Greenline was yesterday — our fourth year here to see it. We’ve settled into traditions in Memphis, but since our children are still young and growing, no two years’ events are ever the same.

We have traditions we purposefully create — hosting seders, lighting candles for all of our children on Shabbat, choosing February 2nd as Mocha’s birthday–but also others that happen of their own accord. We watched the Prince of Egypt over Passover two years in a row at some point, and now Wise thinks of it as a tradition to watch it every year. Hoot thinks it’s required that we stop by the creek on our walk to school to look for fish, every time.

Or is that a habit?

This past year, because of my heavy focus on politics, I broke away from so many good habits and formed new bad ones. I didn’t have enough time to write or work out, and I’ve lost a balance. I ate too much junk food and drank too much coffee. I spent too many nights not putting my children to bed and weekends not playing Legos or sleep friends with them. We have bedtime and wake up traditions that I want to become routine again.

Being a good citizen is not easy.




3 thoughts on “T is for Tradition

  1. Oh, I’m glad that I came to the blog from your email post. I see the grand poster.
    –Work on the traditions. My son and daughter are in their 40s. I wish I’d done more “traditions”.
    This coming 4/30 Saturday evening/ 5/1 Sunday morning is Orthodox Christian Pascha at St John. –A lovely tradition (which follows Passover timing).


    1. Lovely! I love seeing St. John’s congregants walking to and from church in the neighborhood. I usually take the tour during the ArtWalk, but of course this weekend’s ArtWalk wasn’t amenable to that for the congregation.

      The show goes for two weekends, so you can see it after Pascha. 🙂


  2. It’s so true, about losing both habits and traditions, but somehow those special holidays help us remember them and try again.


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