Traditions end for a variety of reasons. In extreme cases, someone involved might pass away or parents might get divorced. Perhaps the person who coordinated the tradition is no longer present or the tradition feels wrong given the new circumstances. In more organic cases, traditions may simply run their course or not make as much sense to uphold as participants grow older. Traditions may no longer bring the joy they once did, or they may be replaced by new traditions.
Earlier this month we bid farewell to one of our traditions, not because of anything catastrophic, but because my little boy isn't a little boy anymore. It was a silly tradition and I knew it was coming to an end, but those details didn't make saying goodbye any easier...I think because with each tradition we leave behind, we are also leaving behind a piece of his childhood.
I won't share this post and these photos in future years, but I needed to share them once more today...because I didn't know the last time was the last time.
Grumpy for 11 Years
The emotion in the first picture of this series - at the bottom of the post - was captured accidentally. On Super Bowl Sunday I brought out all of the kids' Green Bay gear for one more wear. As Will pulled on one of his Packer shirts, he asked excitedly if the Packers had made it to the Super Bowl. When I explained that no, the Packers weren't playing that day, the authentically forlorn expression you see above passed slowly across his face. Hallie, on the other hand, just didn't feel like smiling for the camera.
Hopefully 2023 will be the year our Green Bay Packers rise to the top once more, because while I used to say that this tradition - Will and Hallie wearing their disappointment on both their faces and torsos - would continue as long as was necessary, I now know it won't last forever. Let's just say that cooperation levels have been decreasing and the emotions on the faces below - annoyance with their mother and each other - are as authentic as emotions come.
Teenagers keepin' it real.
Nothing says grumpy like cuddling a kitten.
Will brings his A-game with a swollen black eye.
Intense (Hallie) and unblinking (Will).
Trying not to laugh (Will) and annoyed at the laugher (Hallie).
Note the unilaterally flared nostril.
Adorably angry (Hallie) and trying not to smile (Will).
Indifferent (Will) and trying to make herself cry (Hallie).
The year of the toothy growl.
My favorite. Just cute.
Earlier today this came across my Instagram feed, courtesy of Grown and Flown.
"Mom, didn't you realize when you had a baby that it would eventually grow up and leave?"
"Yes, sweetheart, I did. But I didn't know it would feel like this."