Life is full of major milestones…birthdays, holidays, the first day of school…but what happens in-between those yearly events is really the stuff we should be celebrating. There are many ways to recognize these events, but my favorite, of course, is through food.
Tying your shoes
I don’t remember when I learned to tie my shoes. It’s not even something I thought about until we bought my son, Braden, a new pair of shoes with shoe laces. Up until that point, he slipped on his shoes and with a quick flip of a Velcro strap, he was off and running out the door. Having shoelaces definitely slowed him down. After a few unsuccessful attempts to show him how to tie shoes, he decided he was going to wear his new shoes to school. I sent him off to school knowing the worst that could happen is that he would come home with his shoes untied. (Or he could trip on his shoelace, fall and get hurt.) Braden figured it out and came home with his shoes tied!
That night I made Spaghetti Pie in honor of the shoe-tying accomplishment. I explained that the spaghetti noodles represented shoe laces that he successfully mastered that day. I was met with a big grin as he sat down to dinner.
Getting 15 out of 15 on a spelling test
During the school year, spelling tests are a weekly event at our house. This could also be defined as a recurring opportunity for me to practice “improv” by making up sentences with random words. In second grade they have “challenge words” which are, well…challenging. It’s pretty hard to sound out words like “February” or “precipitation”. To keep Braden motivated, we’ll occasionally celebrate when he gets 15 out of 15 correct. One evening, I made Alphabet Breadstick letters that spelled out one of his most challenging spelling words: “responsibility.” It also gave the family a chance to talk about what that word means.
Winning the basketball pool
My husband has a strong interest in watching the men’s college basketball tournament. This year I decided to get the whole family involved. We randomly picked teams that were playing, and the winner got to plan an outing for the family. The night of the final game, I made basketball sliders (aka Meatball Sliders) in honor of the main event.
My daughter, Bailey, was the winner - along with the UConn Badgers. Upon her request, we all spent an evening making food in her kitchen and attended the art school she “teaches.”
We’ve really had fun celebrating the little – but important – milestones along with the major ones. Sometimes, it really is the little things that count.