Our non-Pinteresty family tradition, involving donuts

The traveling life is awesome...


Coming to Alabama to be with family, after a few weeks on the road, is priceless.

You see, traveling full-time means leaving our oldest who's in college, my sister and our brother-in-law and their kiddies--all residing in Alabama!

When we owned our house, our families lived exactly 12 minutes apart.

That means that the little cousins were very close. They did everything together for years.


So, when we decided to sell our home, leaving was hard not only for us, but also for our little ones.

Our tiny road warriors would be sacrificing relationships they loved. We knew that, but we needed a way to help THEM understand and process that themselves.

Enter: our made-up family donut tradition.

Being from Hawaii, every important family activity includes food. And this would be no exception. 

Leaving Alabama to travel months at a time was hard, but we (all the adults AND the kids) decided that we were going to focus less on the leaving part and more on the returning part.

So, whenever we come back into town, we celebrate with donuts!! 


I mean there are few foods that scream "Celebrate good times, c'mon!" like Dunkin Donuts, right? 

So, when we return, we all sit around the table and eat sugary, frosted, way-too-many-calories Dunkin Donuts...all together. And we chat about what we did while we were apart. 


We look at pictures of birthday parties and camping trips that we've missed. We admire hair cuts that happened while being apart. We laugh at stories we've held in our hearts to share just with each other upon our return.  

We reconnect. 

And we do it over a box of donuts.

Every time.

When we're away and missing each other, my niece will FaceTime and say, "Can't wait to eat Dunkin Donuts with you, Aunty."

So, if you didn't already guess, it's not REALLY about the donuts.

Although, now that I'm thinking about it, I hope I'm not teaching my kids to eat donuts every time they feel pain. Maybe I should have picked a different, healthier food, like cucumbers or Kashi cereal?

But how lame would that be? 

When I look at their faces smeared in frosting and fingers sticky with custard...or when I see the sprinkles from the donuts strewn across the table while giggles float above it all, it's a special moment of splurging and celebration that go way beyond eating donuts! 

The lessons we learn while traveling are almost too many to count.

It's an awesome life, but it's not an easy life. It's full of sacrifices everyday, and being apart from family is one of those things.  

But teaching our kids to handle sadness, or process pain while being resilient enough to look for silver linings, these are a few benefits of not shielding our kids from life, but letting them experience the many facets of it: hard and unpleasant, beautiful and exhilarating.

Family traditions are a safe way to support a child through those moments.

It gives them an anchor, something to look forward to, a horizon to set their eyes upon when life proves bumpy or inserts one of its many transitions.

What family traditions do you have? How do they help your kids process change? 


Samantha NelsonComment