After several days of non-stop hustle and bustle, I am enjoying the quiet that follows a huge celebration like Easter. The children and grandchildren have all returned to their homes and everyone here at my home is asleep.
All the good china and silver is put back in place, the table linens are in the washer, and except for scattered Easter grass on the floors, a dirty child’s sock on the hall table and a pink Peep bunny perched on the sugar bowl, things are back to normal.
But what a beautiful day it was! Norman Rockwell himself could not have painted a more traditional scene, with beautiful children, Florida sunshine and sticky chocolate bunnies. The dining room was seated with all ages, from toddler to super-senior. This joyful celebration was down home, home grown and home sewn.
Before the Easter egg hunt, we tried to get pictures. What a production that was!
Three relatively cooperative, squirming, anxious children were surrounded by 6 relatively cooperative, squirming anxious parental paparazzi. The cameras were snapping like finger cymbals.
Hundreds of photos were taken, though the children would probably estimate that there were thousands.
There must be 20 shots of the children on the stairs. It was like trying to line up 3 cats! We never did get a picture of all three smiling. Robert fidgeted and Alastair was focused on his right foot. Laurel, bless her sweet cooperative little heart, sat primly for every photo but the last, when she lost her resolve and was caught picking her nose. That unladylike pose has been deleted from my camera.
The long and short of it was that the children were precious in their new clothes, even though Robert’s shirt was too short and Alastair’s shorts were too long. Laurel’s mini dress was made respectably long by the flounce on her slip.
She arrived in her Imperial broadcloth slip, looking fresh and sweet, ready to pop on her perfectly pressed dress.
Alastair, 2, had enjoyed a warm-up hunt at a Saturday party so he was like a pony chomping at the bit at the starting gate. Finally, the hunt began. Laurel, 6, and Robert, 5, have years of experience in such events, so they spread out far and wide in search of the goodies.
Looking at these pictures, I was reminded of Facebook photos posted by one of my high school friends who lives in northern Illinois. They show her 2 year-old granddaughter bundled up in a pink hooded snowsuit with her Easter basket in hand, hunting eggs. Ahhhhh…I am so grateful to be living my life in central Florida!
Dinner was as traditional as the hunt, with ham and chicken and all the trimming, followed by angel food cake.
From my 91 year-old Uncle Richard to 2 year old Alastair, the diners were a portrait the circle of life. Richard fought in World War II, Bob and I were born just after World War II. Now, I pray our children and grandchildren will never see World War III.
The children were at the little tea table, with their own centerpiece and bug trimmed napkins. For me, it is so important to try to create magical memories of our holiday gatherings.
It seems more likely that they will remember the bugs and bunny warren at their table sooner than they will remember the ham or squash casserole or Waldorf salad.
After dinner, the children swam with Granddad while Uncle Richard watched and the mamas cleaned up the kitchen.
And now I rest, appreciating the symbolism of the new clothes, the eggs, the hot cross buns and the Easter lilies. Now that Easter ’11 is officially past, I sit here nearly overwhelmed with the meaning of this holiday, the joys of my life and the blessings of living in this country.
We all can worship God and live in relative peace and safety, thanks to Uncle Richard and others who have fought for our freedom to worship.