Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Bittersweet Easter

When my ten year old asked "so what are the plans for Easter?", I guess I gave him a blank stare. "Um, well we don't really have anything big planned..." I said as I searched my brain for some clue as to when Easter was arriving. "Well, but what time should I come downstairs?" he tried again. Aha. He's thinking about the baskets of candy and gifts. Phew. That I could manage.

Poor kid. Being the youngest in a big family, he not only experienced several years of tradition-building while the older kids were still at home, but has watched countless reruns of family movies that captured the huge hoopla around holidays. We have hours of video featuring 3, 4 or 5 kids perched on the stairs decked out in Christmas or Easter jammies while their video-camera -wielding dad teased that Santa or the Bunny hadn't shown up that year.

With the older three kids away at school, and his fifteen year old sister more interested in sleep than sweets, Cam was kind of screwed. We had just returned from a 5 day trip to NY to see his college sibs and my mom. Just getting his other brother's birthday card in the mail a day after the event was a challenge...so Easter was the last thing on my mind.

When the older kids were Cam's age, we would celebrate the day for at least a week in advance what with decorating the house, dying hard-boiled eggs, stuffing plastic ones with jelly beans, hosting or attending several Easter Egg hunts, buying nice new clothes for church, and having family or friends over for an elaborate holiday supper.

This year, I stumbled to the storage room at 11pm Saturday night after doing the dishes from an impromptu dinner party. Carrying up one rubber maid container with a few sorry-looking paper mache bunnies and 12 year old baskets, I congratulated myself for the early morning dash to the store. I quickly stuffed the kids' baskets with the required M&Ms, jelly beans, and 2 for 1 sale items from Target's desecrated Easter aisle. Then prepared a basket for our newly-acquired mutt...

That was it. Easy, but not really Easter.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, this made me giggle!! Having a large gap between my older two and my little one, I can totally relate! I marvel at the celebrations I used to pull off as a new mama! I have definitely simplified this time around and, like you, find myself dusting off dog-eared holiday books, toys and baskets--impressed with myself that I even managed to come up with them, but feeling a bit guilty as well that my little one is missing out on the hoopla of the past! Anyway, the guilt fades away quickly as I am reminded from looking at my little one, that actually it is the simplest of pleasures that delight her the most and the adoration and love she sees when she looks up into my eyes. Mama's more present without all the planning--and that's the biggest gift of all.