I'm not a huge tradition fan. I like new things.
There are some traditions I like. Like what our family does at Christmas time in Brasil. Like what we do on special days (birthdays and anniversaries) but other than those things I really don't hold to many traditions.
We only get to come back to the states every two years and things always seem to be a little different each time.
There is one thing that happens every two years, one tradition, that we all love and always look forward to.
Going to eat at the Adkins' house. Joey and Angie and their kids Abigail, Madeline and Joseph.
We went to college with Joey and Angie. Joey was my best friend in college. I haven't had many best friends in my life. I can probably count on one hand people I would consider my "best friends." God has blessed me with so many good friends throughout my life but only a handful that I've felt some deeper kind of bond with. A "best friend" bond. To this day I still consider Joey one of my best friends.
Joey and Angie are the kinds of friends that we won't see for two years and when we see them again it's like we were just together yesterday.
Our traditions with them consist of a meal. Angie always cooks for us and it's always good. We like that tradition.
We love going to their house because we laugh so hard. I think we laugh, and hard, more with them in one night than we do for the rest of the year. We always cry from laughing when we are together. It's a tradition I love about being with Joey and Angie.
Our kids LOVE each other. It's a hard thing living in another country and then coming back for a brief period of time and having to eat with people that we might know but our kids don't. They have to sit and try to make conversation with other kids they don't know. This doesn't happen with the Adkins' kids. When we are in Memphis our kids are always asking when we are going to Joey and Angie's house. They tell us their kids do the same.
When they are together they eat supper and then they play hide and seek. I don't know how this got started years ago but it's something they all look forward to and they all play it. From 3 year old Giovanni to 18 year old Ansley (and 20 year old Bronwyn when she's with us) and everyone in between. They will play for hours and they love it. While we grown ups are talking and crying from laughter at the dinner table the kids go all around the house playing their game. This is another tradition that I love about being with the Adkins.
Finally we have the tradition of the kids taking a group picture....
.....the parents taking a group picture.....
.....and then it morphs into stupid time. It's another tradition that happens every time we are with them.
And we all love it.
We love these guys because they've known us for 25 years. They really know us, warts and all, and we have a deep bond together. We can be ourselves and it's like, in some ways, we are still all 20 years old. I like that about these guys. I mean, come on, you have to have a pretty deep friendship to take pictures like our last one.
We were talking on the way home from their house last night that our 4 hours together seemed like 30 minutes. It's always like that with Joey and Angie. I like that tradition as well.
Now that I think about it I guess I do like traditions.