Monday, May 5, 2014

Traditions Get Better With Age

I have to tell you,
this weekend I went from giggly to awe... 
You know that feeling when you suddenly recognize how wonderful something is,
and the world just feels so right.

Actually, my blogging friend Fiona used the expression gob-smacking recently and I love that...
that is probably a better choice of words.

Okay, let me explain.
Every year for the past 4 years, we have been the family responsible for driving my daughter and her friend Jane up to Tadoussac to their summer jobs.

We load the car up with all their stuff.... 
oh and they have got stuff.
We shove the dog in to the back seat between the two girls
and head out in our overloaded vehicle to one of our favourite places.... Tad.

Jane's family has a cottage there that they have owned with their extended family ...

since forever.

One of those places where every object that seems to be casually lying about has a story.
There are multiple sets of china and white painted furniture thrown in with blue painted furniture, 
and yellow walls and white walls and plain wood walls,
and nothing matches 
which is just pure heaven 
and then there are these amazing views of varying degrees from every window.

Usually, it is the 4 of us.... oh and the dog.
Traditionally I prepare a nice dinner, we walk the beach, enjoy good stories about previous summers and the girls imagine all the possibilities that lie ahead in the next 4 months.
It is nice... really nice.

But this year, the tradition got a slight adjustment.
And initially some members of our entourage were a little unsure about how that would feel.
After all, it had always been our tradition. 
The 4 of us.

But 4 quickly became 9
as their gang of close friends jumped in cars and headed up to join us.

So, what exactly is the awe?
I know, I know
that is where this started.

Well, the awe was just that.
We found ourselves spending the weekend with 7 amazing young adults.

I cooked dinner as I usually do, they got the fire going
because it was COLD and raining.
We shared stories around the fire, 
listened to their tales from the past year of university....each of them living in a different city.

Dinner came and went,  somehow we managed a hike between bursts of rain, they camped in sleeping bags next to the fire
and well, we crawled up to the bedroom with the best view of the harbour
along with the coziest duvet in the cottage.

And then the next morning as they made breakfast and talked some more, 
I felt in complete awe thinking that all these young people were going to be putting themselves out there in another year or two....

But that right now they were here together in this fabulous wood cottage
with its tin roof 
in this little village on the edge of the St. Lawrence river
reconnecting... their bond
as good friends do.

I was taken back as I looked at each of them and recognized that these young adults that I have seen grow over the years are now training to be doctors, an educator, an architect, a philanthropic manager and a biologist.

It felt rather special to be there,
no cell phones present, 
just them.... 
talking, laughing, dreaming, debating.... small issues, world issues.... personal issues.

We packed the car in the rain yesterday afternoon,
they headed off on one last hike along the ridge to see if they could spot some minke whales playing in the bay just one last time
and I wondered if we would all be here again next year.

As I hugged them good bye, they said, I hope you had as much fun as we did.
Thanks for letting us join you.

Well, that was it, the perfect end to a perfect weekend
....  and I really do believe that traditions just get better with age....
you just need to let them grow. 


  1. that is the real beauty of true traditions.... we think it is doing the same thing but all along they are really just evolving.

  2. What a beautiful weekend get-together! Gorgeous spot too! xoxo

  3. Wonderful!

    My husband and I love spending time with our children and their childhood friends who are now professionals, home owners, parents . . . it gives you faith that the planet will be taken care of.

  4. Sounds like you had a smashing time. So nice to see the young people really maturing and becoming great individuals.I feel the same way when I spend time with my 25 year old son.

    Jean x

  5. That sounds like a wonderful weekend Donna. Isn't it amazing when you realize that your kids and their friends are finally 'grown up'? The cottage sounds amazing too.

  6. It's so nice that they embraced your tradition without spoiling it but making it better!

  7. I love this post. This is what life is all about. Friends, memories, time spent together

  8. I work with lots of students at the weekends and it certainly makes the place more fun, because during the week it's just us old women. Sometimes I listen to them talking and can't quite believe that I was that young, once upon a time.
    I loved reading this post, does your husband know that you write incredibly well too ?
    What a lovely way to spend a weekend and how cute is that cottage, or should I say gobsmackingly cute !

  9. Your awwww moment became my awwww moment. It is your commitment to family life and it's traditions that make this wonderful weekend possible. You nurture, they grow into good people and it comes back full circle. I love being around both my daughter's friends. They are all so involved in the world and I can sit around listening for hours to them talk about their adventures and passions.

  10. What a wonderful post, Donna! Great memories to be had by all. Sometimes it really is the simple things that mean the most.

  11. You are so right...My four children are all in there young adult age with three of them in college. It is wonderful to have them and all their friends in and out of our home or to go camping with. I miss them being 'children' but I am enjoying them at this age too. It truly is a time to be in awe. Lovely post!


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