Tag Archives: family tradition

Good Brains

Don’t forget, tomorrow I’ve got Olivia Cunning stopping by to talk about the hot men in her fictional band, Sinners. And they’re very hot.

Yesterday I got a text message from one of my cousins. It was a picture of her 9-year-old daughter with an armful of trophies. The caption read: M scored mastery and advance in all parts of iLEAP! It’s a test given to 3rd, 5th, 6th, and 7th graders to determine if they’re ready to advance to the next grade or not.

My brother, M’s godfather, and I were talking about it last night. We were very happy for her and proud. Which is when we pulled the same trick our grandfather pulled onĀ  us.

“She has Toups brains for sure,” I said to my brother.

He gave me an eye roll. “Well, yeah, of course she does.”

When I was much younger (around 6 or so), my grandfather would give me “Toups brains” everyday before school. How? Well, I’d have to stand still while he pressed his forehead to mine. Then he’d make a grinding sound as he “cranked” his hand next to our heads. This was a ritual. This was passing the “good brains” to me so I’d do well in school. It didn’t really work, considering I was an average student, but it’s something everyone in the family does to the kids.

My uncles did this to me, my sister, brother, and cousins. I’ve done it to my nephews and the younger ones. It’s tradition. I have no doubt my brother is going to do this to his child. Did I mention he and his wife are expecting in October? Yes, we’re going to have a mini-mini-meatloaf (according to the nickname KAK has given my little brother).

Tradition is important. The passing of brains onto the younger generation…gnawing on the younguns’ foreheads…okay, that’s one tradition I could do without. You’re probably thinking we’re cannibals, but no. My grandfather (again) is responsible for that little painful initiation into the family. He used to grab us and bite our foreheads. Not hard, but enough to make you think he was trying to take the brains he’d just given you back. My uncles aren’t as good at the practice. My parrain drew blood from me once. He has no technique.

Back to Little M. It’s obvious now that the years of preserving the “good brains” has worked. She’s a smart little punk. She’s also 9 going on 40, but we tend to overlook that. Yes, I do believe my grandfather had it right to pass the good brains down the line. It took a couple of generations to stick, but it did.

What weird traditions does your family have? It’s okay, you can share. I told you about the forehead biting ritual.

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