As I was going down the aisle in the grocery store, I remembered something I forgot.

JELLYBEANS!

Must get JELLYBEANS! And many packs of them!

So I went around to the Easter candy aisle and found them.  Not the fancy ones.  Just the plain old, original jelly beans. Whew!

Why is this such a big must?

It is part of the Easter tradition for us.

The Easter bunny always leaves a trail of jelly beans from the children’s rooms, down the stairs, around the living room and to their Easter baskets, which are hidden.

The Easter bunny also always uses certain colors for each child.  Hence the need for many packs jelly beans so that enough of each specific color can be found and used.

Our children get up and follow the path, bending up and down as they talk and laugh together…Elizabeth always makes sure that everyone is only picking up their color and ONLY their color jelly beans.  Michael eats as he goes, even though we tell him that he is actually eating off the floor.  (But hey, a jellybean is a jellybean after all. His feelings, definitely not mine) And Emily, just laughs with them as she picks up jelly beans that we all know she loves doing, even though she is really on “team adult” now.

It is fun.

It is love.

It is one of our traditions

Traditions are so important to us all.  They are what make the memories that we hold onto as we get older.  They are the things you can count on year to year.  Even if they are crazy and yours alone, they are traditions.

I think for us all, when you can count on something in this whole crazy world.  It is a good thing.

I know for my typically developing children, it is something that they love and plan on.  They are memory making times and events.  

I know Emily holds dear to the traditional Christmas eve dinner that she has known since she was a baby. And also making the yearly ginger bread house with her siblings.  Even though it usually comes out looking like the house that Charlie from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, lives in.

And I know Michael loves making sure that our Christmas cut-out cookies are left right by the chimney for Santa.  And poor Santa because no matter how hard we try to make the cut out cookies look like a snowman or a stocking they always come out looking like, well, like puffy circles.  They taste great, they just look pretty bad. Anyway, the point is these traditions are treasured.

But for Elizabeth, who has sensory processing disorder, I know that they are important to her for those reasons but also because she can count on something during the holidays when, and we know this is true:

Schedules are totally different.  

Stress levels are different (depending on who’s doing the cooking!)

The foods are different.

Who we are eating with is different and so on.

So traditions give a stable point of reference in an otherwise unscheduled time especially for those with special needs. 

I have known Elizabeth to ask me if it was time to make the reindeer food yet?  Or did we buy the dye for the Easter eggs….she remembers, she gently reminds me if I have not done it yet and she participates fully, because she knows how to do the activity and there is no stress for her.

And I love that.

All my children together, enjoying time and an activity and making memories.

So if someone asks me why I like traditions I will say because I remember thinking about the holidays way past when they are done, and smiling as I remember the horrible color egg that results from mixing all the colors together at once “just to see what happens” or when we found the last plastic egg, hidden in an egg hunt, in late June.  Or when my children say “ Mom, remember when we…”

This is why they are treasured.  

This is why they fill our hearts will memories.

And this is why, I hunted down those jellybeans.

Because….

 

I wish everyone a blessed Easter and a peaceful Spring Break.

Michele

 

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