Sunday, April 12, 2009
Happy Easter! Frohe Ostern!
Easter morning dawned clear and bright, so before breakfast had even been cleared from the table, Papa headed out with the girls on the Mother Ship. They hadn't been gone long before they called home and gave directions to a new spot along the river. It's public waterfront accessible from parks at either end of a long stretch of private homes. Beautiful!
It had the added bonus that morning of being in the wind shade as well. I trekked on down with some Easter eggs, hoping we might do our first-ever Easter egg hunt there, but the girls were too absorbed with sand play to be bothered. I did manage to pop on their bunny ponchos and snap a few photos.
With all the moving and to-ing and fro-ing we've done in the past few years, we haven't really celebrated holidays the way I grew up doing and always intended to continue. Ellie has never had an Easter basket; she doesn't know about the Easter bunny. Many parents don't tell their kids about the Easter bunny from the moral high ground that it's wrong to lie to their children. We aren't quite so philosophical (ethical?). We haven't done it because she is terrified of Santa Claus, so we figured why risk another holiday of trauma for a creature that isn't real? Being in school, however, does introduce her to the idea of chocolate eggs and chocolate egg hunts, so we decided to "do" Easter this year.
The Catholic church up the street has a big sign posted this week that reads "THE EASTER BUNNY DIDN'T RISE FROM THE DEAD." Though that's a bit melodramatic for my taste, they do have a point. Easter is a religious holiday. If you consider the meaning in Christian tradition, Good Friday and Easter are far more significant than Christmas, though celebrating Easter is more about springtime (tulips, flowers, baby chicks and bunnies) and candy than anything else. Since we don't go to church, we didn't have an obvious in for explaining the holiday to Ellie, but we tried anyway. If she's going to associate the holiday with a character she cannot meet or quite understand, I'd much rather tell her about Jesus than the Easter Bunny. Judge me as you will.
Thinking through all of that made me reflect on my own most prominent Easter memories. First and foremost is hunting for Easter eggs with the church group in Sunset, Utah, where we lived when I was very small (ages 3-6). Of all the churches I attended as a child, that one is most clear in my memory. If you plunked me down within a mile of it to this day, I could take you there and show you around. I still dream about it sometimes. Don't ask me why. The next biggest Easter memory that is forever burned in my brain is the first Easter Markus and I were together in New Orleans. At the risk of making this a ridiculously long posting, I'm going to share it with you.
While we were in New Orleans, we often drove over to Ocean Springs on the weekends. Markus loved getting out of the city and unwinding on the bayou, so I usually attended my favorite church from high school while we were there. That weekend, we drove over on Saturday night. About halfway there, I realized I'd forgotten my church shoes. I had packed a white suit, so unless we wanted to turn back, I needed to find white, heeled shoes on the night before Easter in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. Our only shopping option was Wal-Mart. I was not hopeful. Markus, on the other hand, was surprisingly supportive and enthusiastic. He would help me. We would look together. Divide and conquer! Scour the shoe racks until we found something wearable and white. And if there were no white shoes, we could buy another color and spray paint them.
Yes, folks, my second most prominent Easter memory is the night Markus first embraced his inner redneck.
Happy Easter to you all!
Frohe Ostern to our friends and relatives in Deutschland!
And Happy Birthday to Uncle Bob!