Day #235 – May Day Traditions

It’s May Day.  For those of you who may not be familiar with the ‘holiday.’  From Wikipedia, “May Day is on May 1. It is an ancient Northern Hemisphere spring festival and usually a public holiday; it is also a traditional spring holiday in many cultures. Dances, singing, and cake are usually part of the celebrations that the day includes.”

In our little corner of the world we are makers of May Day baskets.  Tradition dictates us to leave these small baskets filled with popcorn and candy on someone’s doorstep.  Years ago the deliverer would ring the doorbell and run away.  The receiver of the basket would try to catch the giver and, if caught, exchange a kiss.

We’ve never done the kiss part – but in our ‘old’ neighborhood my children would load their little red wagon with styrofoam cups decorated with tissue paper, foam paper, and chenille stems.  The cups were full of popcorn and other wonderfully yummy treats.  They would stop at every house, children or not, and leave a little baskets of goodness for each person in the house.  These are really wonderful memories.  Now that the children are older we just use ziplock baggies and deliver to their classroom.


Drats on this children growing up thing….humph…

Two weeks ago Tucker asked about May Day.  He requested that he take May Day bags for his homeroom class.  I happily obliged – VERY happily…that he still wanted to take part in this tradition.

Last night at 8:30 PM I remembered that today was May Day (hence the late posting).  Ugh…really?  May Day baskets?  I looked at my husband and said, “I need to stop and get popcorn.  I don’t have time to make any.”  He looked at me with a “What?!?!?”  face.  I replied, “For May Day baskets.”

Now, we rarely disagree…but on this thing?  On this thing we disagree.  He thinks May Baskets are a thing of the past, something not necessary.  I say that’s phooey and he’s a fun hater.

So I said, “Yes…Tucker asked for them two weeks ago.”

When I returned to the vehicle I could tell he had something to say.  I told him to go ahead.  He responded, “Do you think Tucker really wants to take May Day bags to school or is it simply part of his tape recorded life?  It’s something he’s been conditioned to do – not something that 7th grade boys do.  You are doing these things because they mean more to you than to the kids.  I just hate seeing you work so hard and have such little return.”

I shot him a dirty look and a ‘humph’ kind of noise.  He smiled and then I told him he may be right.  I had never thought of the traditions we take part in as part of the ‘tape recorder’ part of Tucker’s life.

Regardless, this morning I got the kids up early.  I put the bags on the table and had them count how many bags they would need. Then, I instructed them to fill each bag with 1 1/2 C. popcorn while I went to town for Jolly Ranchers, Starburst, and Rolo’s.

There was no complaining.

When I returned home they had filled the bags and there was a ridiculous amount of popcorn on the floor.  Tuck could sense my frustration and he promptly proclaimed, “No worries about the popcorn on the floor, mom.  I let the dog in so she can eat it all up so it’s not more work for you.” How do you not laugh at that?

Then we completed the May Day bags with the addition of candy.

Then Tucker said, “Mom, I never asked Mrs. Peterson if I could bring these.  Can you call her.”  Now, I know Mrs. Peterson well enough to know that she would never turn down baggies with popcorn and candy.  So I went ahead and told him it was okay (which it was).

That really did get me thinking…about a couple of things…

1.  He wanted to make sure it was okay with the person in charge (not a surprise).
2.  He had no concern over what others would think.  Remember Day #193 – Is it Autism or Just Being Awesome?.  He cares if he’s breaking rules, he doesn’t so much care what others think.

I cherish that about him.  So, I’ll continue making May Baskets as long as he asks.  His friends may be ‘too old’ or ‘too cool’ to bring them…but I guarantee they devoured the popcorn and candy.

Maybe, just maybe, Tucker will teach those other pre-teen and teenage boys about just being, about being true to your own self, about not worrying about what others think – most of all, going against the grain of ‘what 7th grade boys do.’

I certainly hope so – because unselfishly giving to others is never wrong.

One thought on “Day #235 – May Day Traditions

  1. Pingback: Day #327 – Indexing | 366 Days of Autism

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