Family Traditions

The following is a note I posted on Facebook on 26 October 2013, with some minor edits. Since I have a “Memories” category on my blog, I decided to copy the note and share it in an effort to keep the moments that make me smile in one place. 

Once upon a time, my family use to go to DeKalb every Saturday for grocery shopping, a Wal-Mart run, and Taco Bell. As we grew up, we didn’t do that as much as a family anymore. At some point, mom and dad started sneaking out for a lunch date at a nearby Mexican restaurant every Saturday. They made the mistake of letting me go with them one day. I started crashing all their Saturday lunch dates after that.

When I started teaching, pay day traditions began. In true Qualls fashion (Bill Qualls fashion anyway…), I saved most of the money [from my first paycheck], but I DID treat myself to my first pair of converse shoes and took Victor to dinner at Niko’s. Not too long after, Dad and I started going to Oberweis every payday for ice cream.

When CQ (Cheryl Qualls) was spending a lot of time in Michigan, “Payday Ice Cream” every two weeks turned into tacos at Los Burritos (or Juan’s, as we call it) AND ice cream every Friday. We still wanted dinner, after all… When mom returned to Illinois, she started to come along.

Now here we are in my third year of teaching. I’ve left the nest and bought my own house. As I was leaving work yesterday, my father sent me a text asking, “What are you doing? Should we go to Juan’s?” So, I got in my car and headed to my mom and dad’s house. Afterwards, I bought a new pair of converse shoes.

It doesn’t take very long to form traditions. Some things never change, but it’s fun to see the connections between my childhood and my young adulthood. It’s fun to see how old traditions don’t go away, but they just morph. Taco Bell turned into Los Burritos, and Saturdays turned into Fridays. And just like I did when I was younger, I still get upset when someone is sitting in our spot at a restaurant.

Birthday at Juan's. We've also gone there to celebrate paying off my school loans, returns from traveling, and just because we love it.
We go to Juan’s for everything: This was my birthday, the day I returned from the UAE. We also celebrated paying off my school loans there.

It is really special to me to live close enough to my family that we can have Friday dinner and ice cream together.

I may no longer be in a position where I can have dinner with my family each week, but I treasure the time that I am home with them during my holidays, and I am thankful that our traditions continue. Every time I fly home, we go directly from the airport to Juan’s, then Oberweis, then home. 

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