Do you remember what it was like to experience Easter as a child?
I was just musing about Easters past. For me, so many of my memories of childhood Easters are tied up with what I wore.
I remember the year that my mother splurged on the most beautiful pale green dress for me to wear on Easter. I was about eight. The dress had puffed sleeves and three pearl buttons down the front. I'm sure it cost a pretty penny, since it came from Parisian, and those were the days before Mom went back to work. But, oh, that dress! It felt so special and serious. I'll never forget wearing it.
I also remember the gorgeous pale pink dress with the little lace trim on the bottom. I was in seventh grade that year. I had a big petticoat to wear underneath it, almost like a modified hoop skirt. Man, I loved that dress so much. It felt like an Easter dress should feel.
Of course, I feel a little chagrined that so many of my childhood Easter memories involve clothes. Our pastor noted that he overheard some girls recently talking about their special clothes for...Palm Sunday. It's like we have this tendency to gloss over the seriousness of Holy Week and focus only on the celebratory parts. Well, the celebratory part is vital...it's the crux of the Christian faith...but the serious aspects are awfully crucial, too. You have to have the crucifixion before you can have the resurrection.
So I am glad that at least I do remember the joyful feeling of sitting in a sanctuary with the chancel all covered up with potted flowers. The relief that Easter was here at last! And the ritual singing of "Jesus Christ is Risen Today!" In fact, that hymn is so ingrained in my Easter memory that I felt a little shiver go up my spine on Sunday morning when we sang it as part of the congregation at Westminster.
We did have a beautiful Easter this year. Yes, I was obsessed with making sure that my son at least had the perfect Easter outfit, even though I was wearing an old dress. Yes, I eagerly put together a big Easter basket for William and looked forward to having a family lunch together at the Wyckoffs' house. But there were other small pleasures. We all delighted in the fact that Aaron and Diane pulled out of their parking spot when leaving the early service, thus leaving us the perfect parking place for us as we pulled our car in behind them. And David and I were so happy to sing along during the chorus of Handel's "Messiah" at the end of church. And I felt blessed to be part of such a large, jubilant congregation on a sunny Easter morning. And have I mentioned the bunny cake?
It was a good day. A good Easter. William is still too young to remember this Easter, but I will remember for him. And pretty soon, he will start making his own memories.
Okay, I'll narrate you through these....
Who says you can't have turkeys on Easter?
Ah yes. William and David upon arriving at church. William was doing his typical small-town mayor routine: waving and smiling and calling "hi!" to everyone he saw.
Standing in front of the beautiful flowers in Aaron and Diane's yard:
The traditional Wyckoff family Easter bunny cake. William got to "help" decorate the face. It had homemade frosting on it and lots of blueberries. And yes, it tasted deeelisssshusss.
The Easter basket I mentioned. The Play-doh has been a big, big hit. "Play Play-doh," William now orders me. "Mama, play Play-doh NOW."
One of my favorite pictures because you get such a nice close-up of William's little pink face:
And the ceremonial Easter Sunday reading of "Twas the Night Before Christmas."
(For the record, the ceremonial reading of TTNBC is not yet an Easter tradition. William insists that his Grandaddy Aaron read it to him every time he visits their house. So for now, it's more of a every-time-William-and-Aaron-get-together tradition.)