Saturday, May 5, 2012

It's tradition. . .

 Today is Derby Day!  It is also Cinco De Mayo and under other circumstances, we would have feasted on tacos, and listened to Mexican music.  But in our house, the Derby trumps just about everything.  See way back, my "career path" was to be the first female jockey to win the Run for the Roses.  Except I went and got tall. Way tall for a jockey.  And so I am an "arm chair jockey" every year for the Triple Crown races.  I am lucky enough to have seen a number of triple crown wins.  My kids never have.

For the past few years, we have made silly hats, kind of a take off on the extravagent headwear one sees in the stands on Derby Day.  Some were animal shaped, some were garishly loaded with artificial flowers, etc.  But this year, I thought the kids were probably past that.  They helped me plan the layout of the cake pictured above (where Butterscotch is beating Brownie by a furlong). And I figured that and our sweet tea and picnic supper by the tube would be our Derby celebration.

Then Rob--my soon to be 16 year old said "aren't we making hats?" 

See, what we can lose sight of when trying to balance our kids burgeoning "coolness" and sense of individuality, is that it is also the traditions of family life which give them the strength to push against us and find their own path.  It gives security, and something to build on.

So off we went to the craft store.  We found ball caps. And duct tape in wild colors.  We found fabric markers and stencils.  And crazy hats were created and worn.   And photographed for posterity.   

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