Happy Easter Sunday!
As with all holidays, I suppose, Easter Sunday is so very different around our home now that our children are no longer young.
How well I remember hearing the pitter-patter of four sets of little feet, and perhaps the cry of a toddler who couldn’t quite climb out of his crib. Then came the stampeding little herd, squealing and running into the kitchen to see what the Easter bunny brought while they were sleeping.
Our bunny always left a little basket of goodies in front of their “place” at the kitchen table. In addition, the bunny cleverly hid candy and filled Easter eggs around the house.
Because we had four children and the oldest one being more competitive and, well, male, we had to designate areas of the house for the hunt based on the ages of the kids.
The oldest searched the family room and the eggs were hidden in more difficult spots. The girls got two other rooms where the eggs were a little easier to find. And being girls, they always helped each other.
The youngest was usually already sitting down eating chocolate and jelly beans and didn’t really see the need to search for eggs.
After the morning sugar rush, the crazy dash to get ready for church began.
Any parent who is being honest knows that getting ready for church with young children and babies is never fun. Sometimes it is downright painful.
Add a hyper morning with a basketful of candy and the requirement of dressing in new, fancy outfits and there is only one word to describe the scene — stressful.
There were usually only minutes to get yourself dressed. And looking at old photos, I can see I didn’t do the best job in many cases. Despite the chaos, we usually made it to church on time — often because Paul the time-keeper was in charge of that.
Sitting in church while trying to keep young children entertained and quiet can also be stressful, especially on Easter Sunday.
Some of the most relaxed services we went to were the Easter sunrise services, which were held early (before the imminent sugar crash) and outdoors. The dress was more casual and the outdoor air just seemed to calm the little people down.
After church, we usually headed over to my parents’ house, where I would help get the big Easter Sunday feast on the table.
That meant I was cooking the day before, and sometimes the day before that, and then transporting dishes to mom and dad’s house. I loved seeing how excited my mother was to see her four children, their spouses and the grandchildren.
When our fourth child was born, mom and dad had 11 grandchildren ages 11 and younger. That should tell you about the natural chaos that was our lives.
I have such precious pictures of those young children and babies, all in their Easter finery, searching for eggs and more candy. The big meal was the culmination of the day, even though the children never ate much and those of us chasing little ones didn’t either.
I will always remember my dad saying grace before we ate, and how, as he aged, his voice would always crack as he thanked God for all of his blessings. There was never a time when I didn’t tear up.
My father has been gone for nearly four years, and our family is scattered all over the country. Easter Sunday is still special for what it symbolizes, but I miss that special day when we were all together.
To my readers who are parents of young children — don’t worry if your young one gets chocolate on her special dress. Don’t get stressed out when your 4-year-old announces loudly (even during the sermon) that he needs to go to the bathroom. Don’t fret if you burn the rolls.
Celebrate today as the resurrection of our Savior, and know that you will blink and your babies will be grown and gone.
Happy Easter to all!
Adlen Robinson is author of “Home Matters: The Guide to Organizing Your Life and Home.” E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.