Flexibility in Tradition

For our family, the first week in a new home features a day where I traditionally make chocolate chip cheesecake cupcakes.  I am a traditionalist, and I enjoy, and look forward to, my tradition of the first chocolate chip cheesecake cupcakes every time we move.

This year, I didn’t quite make the cupcakes for the first week we moved in, although I did make these for the 4th of July:

Chocolate cupcakes with a cream cheese center

Instead of our traditional cheesecake cupcakes, the first week in this house brought a new dessert treat.

As we were stocking up on groceries in the new home, M found a cake mix he really wanted to try.  So, we made a deal – if he helped me make the dessert, then I would approve of the new cake.

After living in a home with extremely limited counter-space the past couple years, I thoroughly enjoyed spreading out on the new counter-space in our new kitchen.  M got to choose which order to add the colors, although looking back on it, I suspect he added them in the order I had them placed on the counter.

I think we both enjoyed spending some time creating something together, letting him take the lead on some aspects and having control over a culinary project.  The end result exceeded my expectations, and M had fun eating his creation.

My switch-up in the tradition of what I bake the first week in a new house provided me with a larger metaphor for my life. With this move, I have decided that some traditions are meant to be shaken up a little – what I do at one duty location is not necessarily something I need to focus on doing at another.  It’s okay for me to change my experiences a bit, and to branch out into uncharted territories.

I am thankful for being able to reprioritize my life every couple years, and grateful for being able to move as frequently as we do.  I rely on my family’s traditions to keep me grounded and balanced in the midst of uncertainty.

This cake ultimately symbolized more than just a cake my son wanted to create.  Instead, it symbolized that it is okay to be flexible with changes to traditions.  The end result will often still be the same – the cake will still get created.

In the case of the larger life metaphor, the way I go about prioritizing my activities, volunteer work, and commitments will still lead me back to my family, provided I keep them as my end goal.

And, the ending will be just as sweet and rewarding as the desserts we choose to bake in our home.

11 thoughts on “Flexibility in Tradition

  1. Such an important realization to make, especially when you’re a military family! I bet M will be talking about that awesome rainbow cake for ages 🙂

  2. Love the metaphor…those small traditions are what will keep your family close and supportive as you come and go to new and different places. Those traditions will remain forever. They can be counted on when everything else is chaos.

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