It was a testament to their relationship that Booth could see that Brennan was troubled when she walked through the front door of their home. It took him mere seconds to realize that all was not well with his partner and he immediately put down the knife he was chopping onions with and gave her his full attention.
"Hey, Bones. Rough day?" He wiped his hands on a dishtowel as she took a seat on a barstool across the counter from him.
"Upstairs playing Mad Scientist."
Her lips quirked. "It's just scientist, Booth, not Mad Scientist. She's not pretending to be insane."
"I'm not so sure about that. Her stuffed Panda is her assistant and we all know Susie Swims So Much would have been a better choice."
She tilted her head to the side. "You are trying to make me laugh."
"Am I close?" He grinned.
She smiled "Perhaps." Then she sighed, the grin fading. "I just…when I was a child, my family celebrated Daughter's Day and Son's Day."
"What are Daughter's Day and Son's Day?"
"It was a day when we celebrated me or Russ. But they aren't real. They don't exist. My parents made them up."
"I don't…I don't understand."
"I didn't know they weren't real holidays. Daughter's Day was so much fun. We'd spend the whole day all together. It started with breakfast in bed and a little gift. Then we'd go ice skating, get hot cocoa with lots of whipped cream, go to the movies, have my favorite dinner…it was just fun to spend time with my family like that. But now I've discovered it's not an actual holiday and…"
"You feel deceived."
"I get it."
"Sure. It's like someone waited until you were in your thirties to tell you about Santa."
"When they left….I didn't want to think about it anymore. It wasn't helpful to me to remember things like those family days. And I was never in a foster home long enough to even pretend to be someone else's daughter, so it was easy to forget about it. But now…" she trailed off.
"Now you have a daughter."
"I loved Daughter's Day. It was my favorite day of the year." She sounded wistful. "But I don't lie to Hadley. You are the one who talks about Santa and magic and fairies. I'm… I'm not that parent."
"You know, Bones, I think you are losing the tradition in the lie."
"What you mean?"
"Well, look, I mean, your parents, you know, they lied. A lot. And so when you discover something else they lied about it seems…" He searched for the right words.
"I was going to say it seems more hurtful than it would be if they didn't have such a history of lying. But in this case…Bones, this was a nice, family tradition. They didn't lie to hurt you, they…they made up a story to have some fun. That's not a bad thing."
"They let me think it was a national holiday!"
"I get that, but just because they did it that way doesn't mean we have to."
She considered this for a moment. "How would you suggest we do it?"
"On Daughter's Day, we wake her up and tell her it's Daughter's Day. We tell her it's a tradition in Mommy's family and that it's something special that we are going to do, too. And then we will spend the day doing all the things she loves the most." He smiled. " I think it could be fun."
"Like the planetarium." She mused out loud. "Russ does it with his girls."
"I bet he does. And I bet they love it."
"He says they do."
"It's up to you, Bones, but I think it could be really great."
"Don't let how your parents handled it keep you from allowing us to have a really fun tradition, too."
"You think it's a good idea, too."
"I think she's a great kid and what's not to celebrate about that?"
"I have to think about it."
Booth picked up his knife and began chopping again. "When is this alleged Daughter's Day?"
"According to my parents it would be this coming Sunday."
"And Son's Day?"
"Six months after Father's Day; the third Sunday in December."
"You know," said Booth as he scraped the onions into a bowl, "Son's Day could be really great for us with Parker. I don't always get him on his birthday. It would be nice to have a day to celebrate him all together."
"You are trying to convince me to say yes."
"Nope. Just giving you all the facts. I know how you like that."
"I really do." She smiled her first real smile since she'd been home. "But I'm still thinking about it."
"It's your thing, Bones, from your family. It's your decision."
She nodded and then changed the subject to other, less emotional topics.
And she didn't bring it up again.
When they went to bed Saturday night, Booth still wasn't sure what was happening on Sunday.
And neither was Brennan.
Sunday morning Brennan woke just a bit after six and realized that, despite the early hour, the other side of the bed was already empty.
She lay still for a moment and then heard the distinct sound of kitchen cabinet doors being shut and the clanging of pots and pans. Curious, she got out of bed and put on her robe and slippers, and headed downstairs.
" Morning, Bones!"
"What are you doing?"
"Making Hadley's favorite breakfast."
"Look, it's just breakfast. If you want to make it more, we will. Otherwise, I was just in the mood for some pancakes, okay?"
She started to answer but was distracted by a tiny, footie- pajama clad girl in the kitchen doorway. Piggy tails askew and messy with a much loved bear hanging from her hand, she was still blinking the sleep away as she said. "Hi, Mommy. Daddy, are you making pancakes?"
"Yep." Booth flipped a pancake up high and spun around in a circle before catching it on the spatula again, making the four year old giggle.
Brennan's heart surged and clenched all at once.
And suddenly, she had her answer.
"Hadley?" she said, crouching down to her daughter's level and motioning for her to come into her arms. "Have I ever told you about Daughter's Day?"
Booth grinned and flipped another pancake, knowing a tradition had just been reborn.