A few years ago Kari was up early and met me by the side of the bed asking, “when are we going to get my donut?” You see, ever since Jonah was young, our tradition has been that on the morning of their birthday, each child gets to go out with dad, by themselves, for a birthday donut. I’ve known for a long time that the kids treasure this time and it’s a big part of each of their birthday celebrations, but it was Kari’s two questions in the car on the way home that day that made me realize how much of a beloved tradition this had become for them. Her first question was, “Is it against the law for a mom to take a kid out for a donut?” After probing a bit to figure out where this inquiry was coming from, I finally answered, “no, it’s not against the law, daddy just really loves to have a little time with each of you on your birthday.” After considering my reply, Kari countered with the following question, “Would it still be my birthday if I didn’t get a donut?” I quickly responded, “it would, but it wouldn’t be as special for me!” Kari responded just as quickly with a simple two words which I will not soon forget, “me either!”
My interaction with Kari that morning made me realize how important routine and tradition are for her and her siblings. They each cherish the things that we do with and for them and especially those that they have come to love and appreciate over time. My hope is that they love and cherish the other important traditions that we share with them as well. Especially the time that we spend helping them to grow in the knowledge of their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, the emphasis on being in worship as often as possible and the time spent at the foot of the cross, speaking with our God, who loves us more deeply than we could ever love one another. Because, donuts are important, but Jesus is…essential!