We always make cookie cakes for the Super Bowl, one of my daughters informed me last week. It’s a family tradition.
It’s odd, in that I don’t really remember it being a part of the day, much less a tradition. I suppose we did have something cookie-related in the house for last year’s game. Maybe it was there the year before too.
But in the minds of children, two years makes something a tradition.
And there’s something kind of wonderful about that.
I’m a sucker for tradition. It’s why we spend Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas where we do each year. I have memories going back decades for some of these things, and it’s important to pass those traditions on to my children — even if the experiences might be completely different from what I remember as a youth.
All too often as an adult, I mourn what’s lost from my early days. Landmarks of my youth are razed. Things move from place to place. People move away or die. The world keeps on spinning, no matter what it might do to the ideals in your memories.
Words like tradition almost take on a sour tone, as if they’re beholden to a history that isn’t tenable anymore, and probably never was.
It’s easy to say that the younger generation sees no value in tradition or the way things were once done. In a world of instant gratification, no one appreciates the hard work to keep things going, the naysayers say.
And yet, on a Saturday afternoon, my daughters are in the kitchen, mixing up the ingredients to make a big batch of chocolate chip cookies, all ready to put that batter onto two large, round platters and bake them until they’re done. Then, when it cools, they’ll do their best to freehand draw the mascots for the Super Bowl teams, the Eagles and Patriots, onto their cakes.
As they perceive tradition, you only eat off a cake if you want that team to win. And in something that really is a tradition, my wife and I pick opposing teams to cheer on Super Bowl Sunday, with the loser of this fake duel having to plan out annual Valentine’s Day date.
Perhaps some day my daughters will pick up on this tradition too, something that’s just intended to bring a little competitiveness and levity into our house and make everyone excited to watch the Super Bowl.
As for me, I’m also excited to eat some of that cookie cake and wonder what other exciting traditions might be just around the corner with these girls at the helm.