Shall I catalog those for you? Hmmm, yes of course. That's why you're here, right?
I stayed up late surrounded by annoying and bad-for-the-environment (yet, completely necessary, duh) Easter grass and plastic eggs to put together the baskets. I promised myself that I'd get up before the kids to sneak the dyed eggs in so they could experience the "magic" of colorful eggs on a nest of plastic grass, surrounded by plastic toys, in a plastic basket. The problem is that I do NOT get up before my kids for any reason other than catching a plane to Hawaii. That philosophy makes me late for most things in life.
Charlie woke up at 6 crying, which he does from time to time, but always settles back in to sleep for another hour or two. This time was different - he was screaming "Mama! Dada!" and he sounded distressed. I gave the manipulatively moaned "Should I go check on him?" to Ben who responded appropriately with a, "No, I'll do it." I reflected on how thankful I am for that charming hunk and then realized with despair that if I wanted to get up before the kids, this was my opportunity. So, I did. Then I went back to bed, too exhausted from my journey to the kitchen to get up when the kids did so I missed the magic of them witnessing my Easter baskets.
In fact, by the time I officially gave them their baskets, this is what Talya looked like:
Here's me being honest: For me, the most important part of celebrating Easter is getting your whole family to look cute and then taking a great picture. Sounds simple, but that's a pretty high expectation with a pretty low chance of meeting it. We got the looking cute part down, but by the time we shuffled into church (*Oh wait, there are no blocks of ten seats available on Easter Sunday for a family who arrives 5 minutes late? You've got to be kidding me!*), I realized we had no family picture.
Ben, who is the hero of this post, was struck with an idea. When they announced it was time to dismiss the kids for children's church, he whispered grab your camera and we took a quick detour outside to get our picture while all the children of responsible parents traipsed off to learn about Jesus. We got a few pictures that aren't horrible, although Talya kept putting her hand up my dress.
Then we ran home to force the tired and hungry children to have fun hunting for eggs in the wet grass while I cooked lunch. There were major flaws in the plan that mostly related to expecting them to eat a nice dinner at the kids' table hopped up on sugar during nap time. We shuttled them to bed as soon as we could, but the sugar rush kept them up for most of the afternoon.
So, here's what I learned this Easter:
- It's important to go to the traditional service even though it's earlier if you want to sing Up from the Grave He arose, Christ the Lord is Risen Today, or any other Easter staple. (The music in our service was beautiful, but my preference is clear.)
- The early service is also important if you want the kids to eat lunch at lunch time, not when they should be asleep.
- The Easter Bunny is an evil spirit who lives in small pieces of candy and wakes your kids up from much-needed naps.
- Holidays are way too important to me.
- Cute outfits are way too important to me. Actually, look at these pictures - they are not too important to me - they are well worth the effort. I swear.
- Next year, I need to buy an extra bag of robin's eggs, because I'm already almost done with this one and I'm not sick of them yet.
- This cake is the best ever. I finished it and want to go make another one.
Well that was an honestly shallow post that I fear has you thinking I'm a shallow person with no spiritual depth. That's not true, but it would be a lie to say that my Easter holiday was spent in spiritual reflection, and not plastic, brisket, figuring out the math on a box of Hungry Jack potato flakes, getting to church on time, and then collapsing in a heap of exhaustion to watch the Last Cake Standing.
But a few days ago, before the hoopla, we did the Resurrection Eggs with the kids. (Cute - check them out if you want.) We opened the egg that held the nails in it and talked about what Jesus went through for us, and Simon said this: "Mom, did you know that the nails didn't hold Jesus on the cross? Love held Jesus on the cross."
I promise you that when a five-year-old says it, it's way more moving than reading it on a facebook status.
So, I'll end my long and shallow post with this from the Jesus Storybook Bible:
They nailed Jesus to the cross.
"Father, forgive them," Jesus gasped. "They don't understand what they're doing."
"You say you've come to rescue to rescue us!" people shouted. "But you can't even rescue yourself!"
But they were wrong. Jesus could have rescued himself. A legion of angels would have flown to his side - if he'd called.
"If you were really the Son of God, you could just climb down off that cross!" they said.
And of course they were right. Jesus could have just climbed down. Actually, he could have just said a word and made it all stop. Like when he healed that little girl. And stilled the storm. And fed 5,000 people.
But Jesus stayed.
You see, they didn't understand. It wasn't the nails that kept Jesus there. It was love.