The end of tradition?

Some of the pots of flowers I planted each year at our old house.

This is the first year I didn’t send flowers to my mom for May Day. It was a touching tradition that began when I was in first grade at Emerson School a block away from our house in Snohomish, Wash. Mom died earlier this year, so May Day brought fond memories, but also regret that I wasn’t ordering a bouquet with a card that said “Happy May Day, from ???”

Mrs. Iverson, my first grade teacher, had us make construction paper baskets and color them. She’d staple on the handles before the bell rang. On our walk home, the neighborhood kids would pick wild flowers or flowers from yards to fill our little May Day baskets.

When we got home, or stop at a neighbor’s house that we’d want to “May Day,” we’d hang the basket of flowers on their doorknob, ring the bell, run for it and hide. We’d watch behind a fence or bush at the surprised mom or lucky neighbor.

I wrote about that tradition HERE.

When I left for college, I always sent Mom a card for May Day. Later on when we could afford it, I ordered flowers.

“I got the most beautiful bouquet of flowers,” Mom would call and say. “Thank you!”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about. It wasn’t me,” I’d answer.

“I wonder who it was?” she’d reply.

When my kids were little, I showed them how to make the baskets and they’d fill them with flowers from our yard. They loved to hang them on our door knob, knock on the door and hide. After they left for college and moved on with their lives, my husband picked up the slack.

Monday was May Day and he got busy with work and forgot — in spite of my daughter texting him the night before to make sure I got flowers. He left a few minutes ago for a mysterious errand, so we shall see.

I do have one special friend who remembered. She sent me a Happy May Day text.

Did you celebrate May Day as a child?

What are family traditions that you’d like to keep alive? What ones have faded away?


P.S.. I heard the doorbell ring. Couldn’t find anything. Hubby was inside peering out the window. “Maybe it was UPS?” Later found this inside the house.

46 thoughts on “The end of tradition?

  1. Nope, never celebrated May day. As for traditions to keep up? None that I can think of. Maybe this:
    ” If you do not ask to borrow money, then I do not have to say no”. Does that count? ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Sorry EA, I think this will be that year of firsts- all the realizations of change since your mom passed. But traditions can change and you still have the skills to create those little door hangers. Maybe doing something simple for a senior center or even older neighbor to brighten their May Day would help to carry on the tradition? Just make sure if you ring and run you don’t hide behind a prickly cactus ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • ๐Ÿ˜… oh my! My foot brushed up against a barrel cactus putting bird seed in the bird feeder yesterday. Ouch! As for your words of wisdom about a year of firsts, thanks for the reminder. One of my close friends lost her husband when our kids were in fifth grade. I remember going through that first year with her. Great ideas to keep the tradition alive ๐Ÿ’•

  3. Thank you so much for sharing the beautiful tradition you had with your mom. Be good to yourself – like Deb said, all of these ‘firsts’ can be tricky since your loss is still new. Sending hugs today — thanks for bringing a bright spot to my day! ๐Ÿฅฐ

  4. My mom is big about Easter and Christmas both eve and day. When I was a kid we used to go to my grandmothers on Sunday afternoons. But other than that we had no traditions. I have a bunch of traditions with my daughter that need to be rethought now that sheโ€™s an adult, but I know when sheโ€™s back in nyc she totally wants to do the corn maze againโ€ฆ.

  5. My mom passed away on Mother’s day but it has been awhile now, so it fades away and just the memory remains-like 9/11. Something you respect but you don’t dwell on. When I was growing up, my mom’s sister sometimes visited us with family. We would dress up for Easter and for the holidays. My mom was very close to her sister, at one point making me often wish I had a sister close in age instead of two brothers. Sometimes memories and traditions get us through challenging times.

    • Thanks for sharing your traditions and thoughts about them. I remember getting dressed up for Easter wearing white gloves, patent leather shoes and a bonnet. I always thought my mom and aunt were so close. I learned from my Aunt when we spread Mom’s ashes that my mom disowned her for 14 years while I was growing up!

      • Interesting. I also dressed up in pink and with a hat. Traditional. My mom disowned my aunt during the last years of her life. The story was very involved. Interesting. We have so many similarities!

      • We do have many similarities. I’m grateful my mom and aunt mended their relationship. My aunt was very vital to my mom in her last decade.

      • My mom broke away from her family on the advice of her therapist. My aunt was not deserving of being cut off. She’s one of the kindest people I’ve ever met.

      • Their disagreement was over monies not inherited and it was a sizeable portion. I may have agreed with my mom but I reached out to my aunt and continued our friendship until she passed away.

      • Money causes all sorts of problems in families. Because my mom cut off all her family, she was disinherited from her parents and it was a lot of money. Her sister shared her inheritance with Mom and my mom still didn’t talk to her!

      • My aunt was a very successful realtor and years ago, a model for 17 magazine and Ford Agency. She was one of my biggest supporters. I wish she knew my novel was published! It is now available on Kindle. My aunt did not forget me!

  6. Oh, this is so sweet! I love your May Day tradition. I remember doing a little of that as a kid but not with the enduring tradition you have. Beautiful post that is a spot of brightness – kinda like getting flowers on the door step! ๐Ÿ™‚ <3

    • Yay! The first person who remembers doing this. Of course, we grew up in the same area. I’m so glad you enjoyed my memories and tradition. ๐ŸŒท

  7. Awww. Those are some pretty lilies he came up with. Iโ€™ve never celebrated May Day. We donโ€™t celebrate holidays in general. I think it might be nice for us to come up with something special.

  8. We adore May Day! My kids Waldorf school does a May Pole dance and we’ve attended for over 10 years (before my kids started at the school and now after they’ve left). There’s something amazing about dressing in white and making a floral crown. It makes me deliriously happy. During covid we weaved paper baskets and filled them with flowers and put them on all the neighbors doorsteps.

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