If you ask me which holiday is my favorite, I will never answer Easter, and I really don’t know why. I mean, Easter has a lot to recommend it: There’s generally an abundance of pork fat and a low Family Obligation Quotient, plus the candy is plentiful. And really, while I’m as excited to celebrate babies being born as much as the next person, it’s quite a bit flashier when the dead rise, no? Me, I’ve given birth to babies. I have never—not once!—resurrected myself or anyone else from the grave. As miracles go, Easter is the clear winner.
Miracles and pork fat; two great tastes that taste great together. [Oh, that’s so sacrilegious. I apologize. But you know the game where you add “… in bed” to every fortune cookie fortune? On Easter we play a similar game where we prepend “Christ is risen” to each and every declarative for similar fun. “Christ is risen, let’s eat!” “Christ is risen, have some chocolate!” “Christ is risen, make Him some coffee already!” etc. We’re serious about our sacrilege around here.]
Anyway, the point is that our Easter was lovely.
It began with Easter baskets, of course, which in recent years has devolved from what was once an egg hunt to now just being “Huh, I think your basket is here somewhere, see if you can find it.” The kids milled around our bedroom until we agreed to get out of bed, and to pass the time Chickadee asked Licorice if she’d seen the Easter Bunny the night before.
“Well, I didn’t SEE anything,” I answered in the high-pitched little voice I use when pretending to be the dog (yes, I know, I’m pitiful), “but I’m pretty sure I heard something weird. It sounded like hippity-hop, hippity-hop!”
Monkey’s eyes went wide with glee while Chickie exclaimed, “Oh NO, I think Hip Hop Harry was in our house last night!” The children dissolved into gales of laughter. Otto and I required an explanation, and apparently Hip Hop Harry is some weird children’s show rapping bear. Oooookay. Why THAT is more horrifying than the thought of some overgrown bunny with a sweet tooth breaking in to hide things, I’m not sure.
Finally we let the kids loose to look for their baskets. Chickadee found them immediately and then flopped down on the couch to pretend she just wasn’t interested. That left Monkey flitting around the house in a blur of excitement for a while, ending with his discovery of the baskets behind the big chair in the corner, which of course yielded the picture of the day—Monkey’s rear as he dangled precariously over the top of the chair to reach the baskets behind. Happy Easter! Here’s the rump of a small boy!
Monkey wolfed down his chocolate bunny while admiring the various small toys he’d received. Chickadee, meanwhile, nibbled on her bunny just a little while surveying her loot. It somehow hadn’t struck me while shopping or even assembling the baskets, but watching her unload I had one of those bittersweet “sunrise, sunset” moments. Where Monkey had Bakugan and a yo-yo, she had fancy mechanical pencils and some nail polish. Where he had his whole bunny polished off in the time it took her to unwrap hers, she wanted to know if I’d please make smoothies for breakfast.
It’s funny, the things that hit me and make me think “She’s growing up.” Apparently the boobs were not enough to tip me off.
We did a bit of cleaning and cooking and then had friends come to dinner. I made rolls (among other things) even though I don’t bake all that much anymore, now that I can’t actually, you know, eat the stuff I bake. But in the “Christ is risen, fill in this blank” game I seem incapable of allowing an Easter where I can’t say, “Christ is risen, AND SO HAVE MY ROLLS!” Plus they make the house smell good.
The food and the company were excellent, and fifteen rounds of dishes and a family stroll around the neighborhood later, the kids were tucked into bed and Otto and I were flopped on the couch remarking that it had been a lovely day. I’m not trying to make light of the miracle of resurrection, you understand. I’m just saying that it’s ALSO a miracle that the children (mostly) remembered their table manners, and that we didn’t run out of teaspoons, and that all of the leftovers fit into the fridge, and that Monkey finished his homework without complaint.
It’s a miracle that everyone got up on time this morning and that an email I sent off to school was answered promptly. There’s a lot of miracles going on, is my point, and while I probably shouldn’t celebrate ALL of them with ham, I’m hoping to celebrate more of them. Amen.