Family traditions come in all shapes and sizes. They’re big and small, serious and fun, formal and informal, and in some cases downright sneaky. The one thing that the very best traditions have in common is the way they reaffirm the good in our relationships, build bonds of affection, and just give us a chance to show how much we really value one another. That being said, meet the family squirrel.
I’m not sure where it all started. I sometimes think it has something to do with a certain little T-Rex left in the oven combined with “Mom will you check the cookies?” episode. . . but in my more lucid moments I realize that’s probably the Oldest-Child-Everything-Is-About-Me Syndrome speaking (closely related to the Middle-Child-Why-Isn’t-Anything-About-Me Syndrome and the Youngest-Child-Thanks-For-Wearing-Mom-Down-So-I-Could-Fly-Under-The-Radar Syndrome). However it started, this little squirrel started showing up in sneaky places in my mom and sister’s houses. . . usually in the days and weeks following a family visit. In the above photo he was appropriately dressed for his wait in the freezer in a custom cap, hand-knit for the occasion by my sister.
Recently it was decided that the family squirrel needed to expand his horizons a bit. He began showing up unannounced at other family houses.
And last night he came Trick-or-Treating to my house. His ultra-sneaky little disguise might have thrown us for a moment, but it didn’t take the kids long to come running in the house announcing that the squirrel that Aunt Chris and Grandma always fight over was here.
Oh. My. Goodness.
Is that not the most adorable thing you’ve ever seen? Would you not feel loved from miles and miles away, seeing this guy left just for you to find? I don’t think I’ve laughed so hard in a long time – it was just brilliant down to the nutty candies in his pail.
My first question to my sister this morning was where on earth she had found the perfect itty-bitty little Trick-or-Treat pumpkin. She pretended not to know what I was talking about. I pestered her for a little bit longer. She honestly had no idea what I was talking about. My sister-in-law Becky is perhaps the sneakiest of us all. . . from the brilliant hand-made costume (notice the stitching detail of the S on the cape) to the remote, visitless delivery through another sneaky sister (thanks Mar).
Until he strikes again, the family squirrel is being loved and admired in my home. And I’m feeling loved too. I’m sharing this in part because I hope it inspires people to find fun little ways to show their love for each other – even if it seems a little wacky. Sometimes those are the best traditions of all.