Easter is one of those days that I always feel I should expect more of. I always feel it should be more celebratory. More exciting.
After all, Spring is my time. Renewal is my thing. Pastels and dyeing eggs. I mean, seriously, crafts with food. Making a boring, plain white egg exciting and vibrant and something worth hunting. Bunnies and chicks. And candy. Easter has it all.
When I was a kid, I even preferred the stories of Easter to those of Christmas. I love babies like no other but something about the mystery of a man rising from death, returning to those who loved him and were so lost in mourning. I’d endure Good Friday and think of the disciples, imagining how they must have felt, their world coming to an end. So dark. And I’d want to reach out and console them. Don’t worry. In three days the sun will shine again. The drama and mystique of those last few days of Lent, I loved it.
But Easter was never a big deal in my house when I was growing up. It’s hard to get excited about a Sunday holiday. The looming feeling of Monday morning ends the party early and Easter never quite matches Christmas in levels of excitement.
Here it’s not too different. Sometimes we make it to church and to brunch. Usually it’s one or the other. Last year, it was neither. Most years we’ll dress up in the morning. I’ll spring for an Easter dress for her and pull out one of my own. And we’ll hunt for eggs and negotiate about how many pieces of candy she can eat before breakfast. Invariably, the bunny will deliver bubbles or chalk, this year both, and we’ll take ourselves outside. Maybe to the park. Because the chaos-loving, rule-breaking side of me loves the image of frills and lace and tulle tumbling out around the black rubber of a swing. Shiny white mary janes donning brand new scuffs and grass stains. Little boys, all buttoned up but with shirt tails hanging out and dragging in the sandbox. I’d sit all day watching children wearing beautiful clothes create the beauty of childhood if I could.
So we’ll go to the park. Nothing special. Nothing more than we’d do any other day. And the day will pass quietly. Peacefully. And all the while I’ll feel like we’re missing something. Forgot to do something. Dropping the ball on Easter. Again.
And then the day will end. Dresses exchanged for pajamas. Babies snuggled between sheets. And I’ll think back on the day and relive it’s perfection. I’ll recount the celebrations. Her glee each time she finds an egg and her smile each time I allow one jelly bean. The sweetness of the two of them, side-by-side in the sandbox. The lightness of bubbles floating through the air.
I always fret about Easter while it’s happening and then look back with fond memories of lovely days and sweet moments.
And that’s how it is, sometimes, with parenthood. Isn’t it? So much fretting and worrying and stressing. So much work and trying and trying again. So much thinking this isn’t how it’s supposed to be. So much thinking it should be more.
And then looking back and realizing it was pretty darn perfect all along.