Tag Archives: traditions

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 on  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.


Filed under Family

Our Thanksgiving

Well, Happy Turkey Day to all of my fellow Americans, wherever you are. It’s time to stuff yourself with food, argue over dessert, search the sales papers and make your game plan for Black Friday before you pass out on the sofa in front of the television. Or is that just my family?

Actually, I’m leaving a lot out. Every year, no matter if the entire family is together or not, it’s always a circus. Three of our relatives live in Baton Rouge which is at least a 2 hour drive away. Every other year (usually), we’ll pile into cars to go to my uncle’s house where we hope to find Korean food waiting for us. Oh, and turkey and stuff. Sometimes, we’ll do Thanksgiving at my sister’s house, sometimes at my aunt’s house, and sometimes at our house. This year, we’re hosting.

Except the whole family won’t be there. My aunt and her brood of 3 daughters, 2 son-in-laws, and 3 grandchildren are staying home. My brother and his wife are spending Thanksgiving at her father’s hunting camp down the bayou, and my brother-in-law is offshore. But it isn’t like we’re going into this with a skeleton crew. Oh, no. We’ll have plenty of loud mouths to make it seem like the house is full.

Food is the primary goal here…my sister’s turkey, my mom’s roast, my uncle’s ham. I have a frozen pie and cookies. They’re lucky I have that much. I really shouldn’t have bought the pie though because it’ll only lead to staring.

See, my uncle -bless his heart- has no manners. He’ll cut a slice of apple pie and eat it with his hands. Full finger slurping. Probably the worse part of it is he sort of loses touch with reality when he’s eating his desserts. Like they’re so good, he astral projects to another plane of existence altogether. His eyes glaze over, but his hands never stop returning to his slice of pie and his jaws never stop moving. It’s…disturbing. And my nephews love to watch it.

Without the day being over, I already know we’re going to go through a pound of coffee (my uncles and mom can drink the stuff all day and will), old, embarrassing stories will be rehashed, politics and religion will be discussed (but since my cousin won’t be there, we won’t have a full-fledged argument), my godfather will talk about his bad leg and his money problems, my sister will make me put ESPN on, my nephew’s girlfriends will not talk, or look at each other, while making nice with everyone else, my nephews will mock everyone, and I’ll be praying for the day to end so I can curl up in my bed with a whimper of relief.

And then we’ll do it all over again for Christmas. Oh, the joys of the holidays. No, really. I’m thankful for my crazy family, otherwise I’d never have anything to blog about!

Happy Thanksgiving all. I hope you have a safe and marvelous holiday weekend!


Filed under Family

The Mad Dash

Christmas is in sight. The cars are clogging the roads as shoppers make a mad dash for last-minute presents. Saturday, I joined the throngs of shoppers, not for my presents, but to help my sister find hers.

It was an adventure that I’ll hold in memory. My sister and I are horrible when we shop together. I always manage to spend more money with her than I do on my own. Not that she encourages me to shop, but because when I’m with her, I’m forced to look around instead of arrowing straight for what I went to the store for.

That wasn’t the only reason it was a fun time. My sister’s goofiness provided both of us with much hilarity. Like her taking a lady’s basket thinking it was her own. It wouldn’t have been so bad if the basket hadn’t been filled with the lady’s purchased items. Oh yes, my sister was mortified. Luckily, we have the ability to laugh at ourselves. Then, to make things even funnier, we waved madly at someone in a car we thought was her son. You know, out the window waving, honking the horn…only to find out it wasn’t her son. Meh. Between blushing and laughing, we ended up in the Christmas spirit.

What gets you in the mood for Christmas? On Christmas Eve, I like to ride around looking at Christmas lights. It’s entertaining and puts me in a great mood for the next day. What traditions do you follow to get you in the mood?


Filed under Family