Sunday, January 17, 2010

Friday Night Pizza

I learned much from a good friend about the value of family traditions.  The most important point, I learned was to actually "do"  family traditions.  My temptation is to put off today what I feel that I can  accomplish tomorrow in a more special or grand fashion.  In so doing, I never get the tradition accomplished beyond the planning stages, in all their grandure.  The simple things, the plain ones are the ones that actually happen.  I am learning that it is in the simple things that family togetherness flourishes.  

My friend's family enjoyed Pizza Night on Fridays.  So simple, what's the big deal?  Don't they get bored with the same meal every week? Tradition is made of deeper stuff right?  WRONG!  Since implementing our own Pizza Night a few months ago, one child or another usually asks, "What's for dinner?" and when I answer, "Pizza." Friday after Friday, the response is always one of excitement.  I half expect to hear groans of , "not again" from the crew until I remember the Friday night traditions of a different family.

This certain family was hard at work developing its own traditions in the 1980s. 

(OK, this was 1976, not quite the eighties, but you get the picture...I'm the one in the middle with the cheeks.  I've outgrown the dress, not the cheeks.)

This crew had what was quite an original Friday night family tradition and, like my friend's pizza night it was pretty simple too.  We weren't much of a TV family except for Friday evenings at 8 pm.  We'd gather around the TV with a bowl of homemade French Onion Soup and watch the best, the very best show that television programming offered at the time...

Still don't know which show I'm talkin' about?  Lemme help you out...

(Just sprucin' the place up a bit...)

Remington Steele and a good bowl of French Onion Soup with lots of melty cheese.  Is it any wonder we all looked forward to Fridays?  Necessary references to the ultra-handsome star of the show aside, my family loved having this show in common.  Every now and then we still refer to one episode or another in conversation and when we do, I can taste the soup and feel the security of the known. 

Simple family togetherness, simple family traditions.  Call it what you want-- it is a valuable thing.  It just screams belonging.  And with all of the things that scream in my world and in that of my family, I want one of the loudest voices that my family hears is the one screamming "YOU BELONG WITH US.  YOU HAVE THINGS IN COMMON WITH US!  YOU ARE ONE OF US!" 

And if I can add volume to that voice with a simple Pizza Night...

...then fire up the oven and call me Papa John!

(Recipe for the above pizza, crust and all...coming soon.)


Lori said...

Yeah Gretchen!!!!! Good on ya! Your kids will remember those nights just like you do ... love and togetherness. Proud of you chica! : )

Gretchen said...

Hi Pizza Night Friend!! Thanks for inspiring us!!

Julia Feitner said...

I simply LOVE traditions!!! Thanks for the ideas!

Jana Vee said...

I cannot believe that picture of you. That looks just like Cole and Molly ... oh my gosh, who would have imagined!!! That is crazy how much they look like their Daddy now but that picture of you from back then. Too crazy!!!

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