Easter symbolizes a time of rebirth. Springtime returns and the flora and fauna are resurrected from beneath the frozen ground. (Granted, this metaphor has a lot more impact in a location with actual seasons.)
Last year, I spent Easter immersed in baby items. GrammaJ and Grandma Nancy trooped around with us – making our way through a jungle of odd tiny items – as we planned our nursery. The holiday was full of excitement about new lives – as a parent and the little people we were waiting to meet. Clearly, the rest of the year did not go as planned.
This year we were a typical family – celebrating the holiday for the entire weekend.
The holiday kicked off with a brunch and Easter egg hunt with a large gathering of fellow moms. It seems like just yesterday that I’d been idly chatting with these girls about our upcoming marriages. Now, all of us have two little ones – but I was the only one who thought ahead and had them both at the same time. (One mom is pregnant with her second, but that still counts as two.)
The vast majority (I’d guess at least 90%) of this new generation are boys. I mention this as a warning that as the years continue to melt away this burgeoning gang of little rascals is going to get mighty entertaining. (Remind me of this blog when I’m in one of those “entertaining” moments with muppets and don’t find it amusing in the slightest…)
After parents and progeny enjoyed munchies like deviled eggs, delicious morning pastries or PB&J sandwiches cut in the shape of bunnies, one of the moms discovered that the Easter Bunny had been spotted in the neighborhood! Easter eggs of every color dotted the front lawn.
When I was a kid, we would go over to a family friend’s house every Easter, where we would feast on a traditional Italian dinner of ham, potatoes, hard-boiled and deviled eggs, salad, breads, pastas, and green beans followed by pies, chocolates, jelly beans and a varietal of other sweets. Inevitably, while my godfather was perfecting cappuccinos for the adults who clearly did not realize that they needed the aforementioned after-dinner drink to survive their children bouncing off the walls due to the rapidly dwindling bounty of sugary caffeinated cocoa products surrounding them. This year, the muppets have just begun real solids: rice puffs. They are purple. And that’s pretty much the best way to describe the flavor too. So it wasn’t quite a feast for them…
Inevitably, someone would burst in to announce an Easter Bunny sighting. The kids would rush the yard, all with the goal to collect the most plastic eggs filled with treats or blown egg shells filled with confetti – absolutely perfect for smashing on the heads of parents or siblings. (There were often some hardboiled eggs as well, but I always considered more of a booby prize, regardless of a pretty outer pattern.)
The muppets were still a bit young to participate in the highly competitive egg hunt this year, so we joined several fellow infants on a blanket out in the yard to enjoy the sun and sights. Watching the toddler’s eyes light up with delight as they discovered the eggs and secret treasures reminded us of the Easter symbolism and touched us all. At this point, I retracted myself from such visions of warm fuzzies and looked down to smile at my boys. Apparently all this watching had bored them.
Destroy, who still cannot crawl, had nevertheless ventured forth on his own personal hunt for eggs. Why crawl when one can merely roll around – there were plenty of eggs to happen upon. And as an added bonus, I, in a moment of unmistakable genius, had dressed the child in white pants. It has become abundantly clear to me that boys (at any age) view the combination of white pants and grass as no less a match than PB&J, mommy and milk, or a quiet room and squeals.
Search can crawl. And ever planning ahead, Search realized that he was not yet physically capable of lugging a basket around the yard and manipulating the eggs into the basket. So, wheels turning, he decided to crawl after the older children. When one paused to admire a new egg, Search pulled himself up on their basket and helped himself to a previously discovered prize. (Oh no… I have *that* kid…)
On Easter morning, we decided to go for a long walk around our neighborhood, to see if we could find the wily bunny. Sadly, he evaded our detection efforts, but when we returned home two baskets filled with toys and fluffy bunnies. At GrammaJ and GrampaStavo’s house, our baskets were hidden. Every Easter morning, Paul and I would leapt out of bed and canvass the house – we never thought to look outside though! Smart bunny.
Grandma Nancy came over with a bucket of toys. Both boys were more than happy to divest the buckets of their contents within seconds. Once we were surrounded with new toys, they both looked expectantly at me and Grandma while we obediently attempted to rescue the items from the children’s toy “childproof” packaging – clearly meant to withstand a nuclear bomb and provide all necessary tools for post-apocalyptic survival.
We enjoyed our traditional dinner that afternoon with Aunt Ivy’s family. I pretty much invited myself along, so that we’d have somewhere to celebrate, but I was instantly forgiven when everyone saw the cute muppets. Well, that or they never even realized I was there. We greatly missed G.G., but Great-Grandma White (Aunt Ivy’s grandmother) embraced us with open arms. Following the cooing and oohing, much reminiscing occurred as the adults pointed out it had been quite a while since babies had blessed the holidays.
On our first Easter as a happy, healthy family, that rapscallion bunny brought me the best basket I’ve ever received – one filled with the two smiling faces of my miracles. The symbol of Easter certainly expresses itself in the most adorable of ways.