Friday, September 09, 2011

Family Traditions

My youngest son turned 13 recently. He's a teen! This is a good thing; really, it is ;-) and it's a milestone that needs acknowledging because he's entering a new phase of his life.

I'm big on celebrating significant events. Both my boys had 'naming' celebrations when they were born and every birthday is celebrated but this one, like 18 and 21, needs a bit more fanfare. I call them the 'rite of passage' birthdays. I'm also big on celebrating the little things and inventing little traditions that frame our lives. Like family games night and squish-on-the-couch movie night.

Our tradition for turning 13 is a meal at a silver-service restaurant- you know the kids menu :-) We chose a restaurant in the country, nestled between a vineyard and an olive grove and where the art of the grounds and inside the restaurant is as amazing as the food. This suited Boy Wonder down to the ground as he's got a great eye art and he's especially loves buildings. He got a total kick out of the new wine-tasting building. Isn't it awesome? A building built on it's side, complete with stumps sticking out:-) 

Sculpture abounds and everywhere you turn you see something new that your gaze missed the first time; like the wire sculpture next to the water tank of the man fishing, complete with a fish on his hook and a glass of wine in his hand. Humor and whimsy is everywhere and after a three course lunch we enjoyed wandering around the gardens and walking off the food:-)

I guess because family traditions are important to me, it's why they often end up in my books. In Boomerang Bride, I gave tradition a bit of a wicked twist because in life, not all traditions are necessarily good!  Matilda grew up in a family where the tradition/belief was that the Geoffrey women travelled across the world for love. This ended up getting her in a bit of hot water and it's why the book opens with Matilda in small town Wisconsin, wearing a wedding dress, holding a cake, but missing a groom.
Do you have family traditions? Good ones, bad ones? I'm all ears.
Fiona Lowe writes stories set in small towns with big hearts. Whether they're set in small town USA or outback Australia, the one thing they have in common is a happy ever after that will make you sigh. For all the goss on her latest releases, and where to find her on the 'net, check out her website. Boomerang Bride and Career Girl in the Country are out now.


marybelle said...

My family has traditions for every occasion. Most of them are not unique to our family, but we make a big deal out of Christmas and Birthdays. For your birthday you choose the menu: the treat you want made, the cake and the dinner. You don't have to help cook, prepare, or clean up afterwards. It's your special time.

Angela Roe said...

What a terrific tradition and I love the location. Happy birthday to your son.I hope his teen years are as wonderful as this tradition, for both of your sakes!

Pat Cochran said...

Honey and I, and our sibs, grew up in
a time when family was first, family
was second, & family was third! Family
was all important! We've tried to give
our families the same vision of life.
We have a big Christmas party that
includes all the members of my side of
the family tree. At the gathering for
Christmas for our immediate family, we
have a birthday cake for "Baby Jesus"
and we all sing "Happy Birthday." For
birthdays of my sibs & I, we all get
together & go out to eat. For all our
grandchildren's birthdays (10) we have
a family party honoring each one. The
month of August calls for two parties
since we have six b-days then.

Pat Cochran

Fiona Lowe said...

Marybelle, I love that you honor birthdays. My tradition is that I always make the cake. When the boys were younger they spent hours pouring over the birthday cake book, deciding which cake to ave.

Fiona Lowe said...

There will be road bumps for sure, life is full of those, but I'm hoping some of the family structure he's grown up in will help during those bumps.

Fiona Lowe said...

Pat, that's wonderful. Sounds like your August is a bit like my July!
Birthdays every few days.

Kandy Shepherd said...

Fiona, family traditions are wonderful things. Funny though, how things we found embarrassing as kids we then insist our kids do!
My mother always had to have a last kiss and a first kiss for our birthdays. Say, a last kiss as a 12- year-old as we went to bed; a first kiss as a 13-year- old when we woke up.
I have always done this with my daughter--and also with my husband.
And yes, I'm sometimes followed the kiss tradition with my cats!
I love BOOMERANG BRIDE and I love the way you used Matilda's family tradition as a plot point--poignant and powerful.
I hope we see more single title books from you!

Cathleen Ross said...

My daughter started a tradition I want to keep up with. Going to Icebergs Restaurant at Bondi Beach for birthday lunches and having the feasting menu. Yum!
Cathleen Ross

Michele L. said...

My hubby and I started a tradition about 10 years ago that in the summer we have different places we have to go to. One is the Port Restaurant which is a Drive-In restaurant. We always love going to our outdoor movie theater called the 49-ER. They show a double feature and play old cartoons at break time. Then we always go to Deep River water park on highway 30. We always make it a point to go walking on the beach in the evening and watching the sunset. We live 5 minutes from Lake Michigan.

Also, we make a point of going to at least one of the fairs we have around here. There are about 4 close to us. We usually wind up going to the Porter County Fair. Summer time is our favorite season!

Fiona Lowe said...

Cathleen, I like how your daughter thinks!

Fiona Lowe said...

Michele, all those things sound wonderful. I love Lake Michigan. I was blown away by the large sandy beaches on an inland lake.