Sunday, August 23, 2009

Tradition

My daughter celebrated her fifteenth birthday last week. After finishing our standard birthday dinner of pepperoni pizza, my husband and I started clearing dishes to make room for cake.

“Oh boy,” my son started, “here’s where Mom and Dad disappear into the kitchen, and we sit here and pretend we have no idea what’s happening.”


It’s possible there is a fine line between a tradition and a rut.

Before her birthday, my daughter told me she wanted to have her friends over to celebrate.

“But I don’t want to do the cake and presents thing with them,” she clarified. “That part should be just family, right?”

I’m not sure which part makes her squirm: all the attention, or allowing her friends to witness her immediate family that up-close-and-personal. Either way, we decided she could invite her friends over for lunch and swimming.

All we needed was a lunch plan. Pizza was out, since we were having that for dinner. I might have been a little distracted when I made the following enthusiastic (and very well received) offer:

“Why don't we make enchiladas?”

What exactly was I thinking? I’ve never made enchiladas in my life. Any recipe that involves shredding a large amount of chicken, followed by all sorts of fussing and assembling, sounds…you know…tedious.

Maybe the idea came to me because several people asked us about a week before her birthday if she planned to have a quinceaƱera celebration. The truth is, we hadn’t even thought about it. When it was their turn, both my husband’s sisters in Mexico traded the tradition and poofy dress for a trip to Southern California. One of my daughter’s friends just cancelled her plans for the shindig in favor of a shopping spree.

Fifteenth birthday. Formal parties and vacations and shopping sprees. So what did my daughter get?

She got to sit with me at the breakfast nook, and shred a big ol’ bowl of chicken. Think of it as quality mother and daughter bonding time.

I enjoyed it, anyway.

The enchiladas were so good, who knows? Maybe we’ll make it a tradition.

19 comments:

ICQB said...

Happy Birthday to your daughter!

I'm all for starting a new tradition if the expected ones feel forced upon you.

Mmm... enchiladas. We're growing green chiles in our garden this year because my husband wants some rellenos.

Keri Mikulski said...

Happy Birthday to your daughter!! ;)

C.R. Evers said...

Happy B-day to your daughter! I bet that is always going to be a great memory for her. :0)

Now I'm hungry for an enchilada.

Kelly said...

I echo Christy. I love enchiladas and may have to have some Mexican food for lunch or dinner today...
Happy Bday to your daughter!!

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Yum. I love enchiladas. Happy birthday to your sweetie. Thanks for letting us peek into the day!

Suzie said...

But cake is great!

Mary Witzl said...

Ooh, good for you, making these! If you ever really want to go truly mad, try making tamales with corn husks. I tried this ONCE ONLY. Never again: life's too short, and my kids no longer buy the quality time argument about helping (unless they are utterly desperate for a particular dish. Sadly, I'm the only one who is desperate for tamales).

My daughter just turned 15 too! I made sushi and gyoza (Chinese pork dumplings). Once a year, I splash out.

MG Higgins said...

I'll be curious if your daughter asks for enchiladas again for her 16th birthday. Maybe she enjoyed the "bonding" experience more than you think! Anyway, happy birthday to the both of you! (since you birthed her)

LW said...

A very happy Birthday to your daughter!
Birthday Cake is so fun and traditions are good.

Enchiladas and friends is a perfect way to
celebrate…

Louise

Kim Kasch said...

Sounds perfect - swimming, food, and friends!

Happy 15 years together!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Many happy returns! I think you may have found something good there. Enchiladas. Yum.

Ara Burklund said...

It sounds like your daughter had a wonderful birthday, surrounded by love and good eats, which tends to turn a nice situation into something great. I bet she'll remember that birthday fondly. : )

Suzanne Casamento said...

I'd love to shred chicken with my mom on my birthday. But then again, I'm 37.

Hope all of you had a great time and that she was happy with her 15th. : )

adrienne said...

Thanks for all the nice birthday wishes! She likes to read the comments, so she'll be sure to get them.

And Mary - yes, thank goodness for frozen tamales!

Anne Spollen said...

Shredding chicken is up there with quality time. It's just a bit of creative spin on tradition. And who needs tradition?

Rena said...

What a great post, Adrienne. Happy belated Birthday to your daughter!

Debbie said...

Sometimes I find myself making proclamations like that and I just want to slap myself. But, that would just make me look crazier.
Glad it all went well.

Nora MacFarlane said...

My daughter (11) would love to sit and shred chicken with me. Enchiladas sound great!

Happy birthday to you daughter!

babYpose said...

Sure you have the coziest nook, it came from the west side of the world, i bet the word nook as well:) happy gave birth mom to a baby girl for the past 15years, sure you were the happiest person on earth when you got her. Happy birthday to her too :) Traditionally here, small parties and sometimes skips. I try not to skip in my own family as it is sentimental value for the kids later.