Friday, September 18, 2009


I missed my post yesterday. I try to get one up each day, but inevitably some days get by me.

Yesterday was an exciting day in the Jones house. The last of our four boys hit the magical “double digit” birthday. We have made this 10th birthday a special one. The birthday child gets to decide on a unique destination that he, mom and dad attend. The tradition has also been that a grandparent can be invited along, if desired.

So – yesterday’s event included a dinner at a restaurant in Philadelphia’s Chinatown for the boy who loves Chinese food but has never eaten in a Chinese restaurant. This was followed by a trip down Broad Street to Citizen’s Bank Park were we watched an exciting Phillies win from seats that were on the field – right near the ballgirl on the left field side. Exciting.

It isn’t often in a house with four kids that one gets to get out by themselves with mom and dad. So, the “double digit” birthday celebration has been something that each has prized. I am sure that the location does not really matter, in the end, but it has been a fun ride: NYC and the “Lion King;” Flushing Meadows, NY to watch the U.S. Open tennis tournament, and seats at a March Madness second round doubleheader at the Wachovia Center. Each boy picked the location well in advance of the birthday so that we could secure the tickets and make the necessary arrangements. Then, we would have close to a year to wait for the big day.

Traditions – both big and small – are what make a family unique. The traditions can be much simpler -- from crazy birthday chants to a family game night. They become part of the glue that helps bind a family together.

Traditions play a similar role in schools. People look forward to the traditional events and these help connect generations. The traditional senior portrait, senior hallway banner, senior trip, elementary assemblies, 6th grade trip, or Thanksgiving Day football rivalry are just some examples. Since this school district has been in existence since the early 1900’s, there have been any number of traditions – some that have held over long periods of time and some that have been around for shorter periods. Though traditions may change over time, the stories about the traditions of the past still have the same ability to connect generations.

I think it is time to add a new tradition to the Jones family. I want to get to a few more fun events – but it cannot be the triple digit birthday!

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