As a new resident in the real world, I don't have a lot of traditions... but one of my favorite traditions is my Wednesday Night Dinners with my mom. It all started when I was 13. My sister was around 16 at the time and her life was much more interesting than mine: she had boys, a car, Homecoming, high school drama. Plus, she and my mom were really, really close so when it was the three of us, her stories took precedence over mine.
To fix this and give me some time just to talk to her, my mom thought of the idea of our Wednesday dinners. This was the perfect night: my dad went to Alamogordo to visit his parents and I had dance class (or was just finishing up the season), so we would go right after class.
Since then, we've only missed a handful of times. Our schedules are busy, always (in high school I always had poms or band or honor society or Knightwriters or something, and now my mom is a principal and ALWAYS busy), but we never forget to make time for each other. There have been times that we go on Thursday or Tuesdays, but in my mind, it's always Wednesday Night Dinner.
One of the funniest/greatest things about this is how established it is in my life. In high school, random people would ask me to hang out on a Wednesday and my true friends would immediately say, "She can't, dinner with her mom." When I lived with Danielle in the dorms, she never wondered where I was on a Wednesday night. When I lived in the sorority house, I would leave the house on Wednesdays, walking down the main hall, and my sorority sisters would yell out their doors, "Say hi to your mom for me!". And now, when my cofriend Louie asks me about my nightly plans on Wednesdays, he always answers himself: "Oh, right! Dinner with your mom". :o)
Our conversations have, of course, matured in that time. When we started, our discussions focused mainly on me: which high school to go to (to Onate to forge my own path or Las Cruces High to follow my sister's legacy), whether this boy liked me, which Quinceanera I should be in, etc. We gradually evolved to being less mother and daughter and more like friends: we talked about her problems too, and family issues, and work issues. Every single big thing I've ever gone through, from choosing a high school, to breaking up with a boyfriend, to choosing colleges, to column choices, to deciding on security and love instead of debt, to the beginning of my relationship and all the analyzing that goes along with it, has gone through a full conversation at Wednesday Night Dinner.
I'm 23 now, so our tradition has continued for a full 10 years, and one of the things that makes me sad about planning on moving away is that this tradition wouldn't be able to continue. I really cherish the time I have with my mom to talk about life, family, issues, problems, love and to hear her opinion on my questions. She always gives great advice and I never walk away from Wednesday Night Dinners feeling unresolved or unsettled about a question I might have had.
Mom (my only true reader, I think!), I love you and I love our Wednesday nights! You are a genius for thinking of it and it is a memory (literally hundreds of them) that I cherish. Here's to another 10 years!