This Easter is a little different from usual, as we’ve never had a week-old baby around while celebrating it. Sprout was almost a year old by the time of his first Easter, so he had a bit more comprehension of the world by then. At this point, Little Bird is strictly interested in eating, sleeping, and pooping. He’s hardly awake enough to register anything else.
But we still have a near three-year-old who is more than aware of the idea of candy, even if the concept of the Christian resurrection is beyond him. Fortunately, both we and the grandparents were more than willing to oblige his interest in sweets. He’s also old enough to do crafts, especially after a successful color-mixing activity during the blizzard, so egg-dyeing was a definite must.
We went old-school Paas with the egg-dying instead of using the food coloring we have at home or going with a crunchy granola natural dye. I wanted something that would wash out of clothes if necessary and knew the time needed to soak the eggs in vegetable-based dyes would seriously test the child’s patience.
Sprout did a great job with them, from plunking them in the water without spilling it to fishing them out without breaking them. Only once, when my mom tried to dye the eggs one-half at a time, did things go a bit pear-shaped. Sprout didn’t realize he needed to lower the eggs into the much shallower ramekins far more gently than he had been dropping them into the plastic cups. Even then, a crack in a hard-boiled egg isn’t all that big of a deal. All things considered, they came out pretty beautifully.
The next morning, the Easter Bunny arrived! I don’t make a big deal about the “fictional holiday heroes” (Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy), but I acknowledge them. This year, we told Sprout that the goodies on the table were from family, while the Easter Bunny was the one that hid the eggs. I wanted to give credit to the grandparents for their gifts, plus Chris and I did bought candy for each other and I’ve never really thought the Easter Bunny delivered to adults as well. Considering that Sprout thinks the actual rabbit that lives in our yard is the Easter Bunny and not some giant anthropomorphic lagomorph, trespassing and hiding eggs seems like quite enough responsibility for him.
Before we broke out the Easter baskets, Sprout had to find the eggs hidden around the living room. I advocated hunting for eggs both inside and outside the house, but Chris thought that was 1) weird because his family never did it and 2) it was too complex for Sprout. Reason 1 was ridiculous, but I agreed that Sprout wasn’t quite to the level of egg-hunting skill needed for multiple locations. Even with Chris placing the eggs in very obvious locations in the living room, it still took a good 15 minutes for him to find them. But the reaction every time he did was glorious – “There’s an egg, Mommy!” in the spriteliest voice imaginable.
The only disappointment is that I couldn’t fully participate in the Easter celebrations. During both egg dying and egg hunting, I was consigned to the couch, nursing Little Bird. Because he can’t really go in public places until he gets his immunizations, I couldn’t attend either Good Friday or Easter church service. During our “celebrations and concerns” portion of church, Sprout declared, “[Little Bird] is family!” which I was especially disappointed to miss. With Chris a stay-at-home dad and my parents visiting, I feel far less isolated than I did while I was at home with Sprout, but it’s still tough. I can’t wait to introduce him to the world and get back out into it myself.
Easter is fundamentally about new life, which is something we have plenty of around here. I believe in the death of Christ on the cross, but am much more interested in the resurrection. The opportunity to make ourselves new every day through God’s grace is something that while I’m sad I didn’t get to celebrate it in church, is something I try to embrace every day as a parent, wife, daughter, citizen, and person.