Confession: I'm really terrible at celebrating Easter. I've just never known how to do it. How to strike the balance between the beauty of springtime with it's bunnies and Cadbury Mini Eggs with the serious observance of Holy Week and Easter.
So we've dyed Easter eggs and hunted for them the Saturday before Easter. We've tried to emphasize the importance of Easter Sunday.
But it's always been small and understated, and it somehow always felt... flat.
This year I was determined to really celebrate Easter. I "invested" in some more Easter decorations. (I have to say "invested" to justify buying them at all.) The Spouse and I started a countdown to Easter two weeks ago Sunday where, each night, our children open a numbered Easter Egg that contains a jelly bean for each child and a scripture about Jesus' life and ministry. We hung colorful plastic eggs on our front tree and talked about the symbolism of things in the spring that can remind us about Jesus.
In short, we did everything we harped and pounded on the subject until it was exhausted.
Sunday was Palm Sunday, and began the nightly opening of eggs that also contained a symbol of Holy Week and the countdown of this sacred time of year. We have talked about the life of Jesus a lot for two weeks now. I have drilled this into my kid's heads. This is going to be a week where they really get it. My hopes are high.
We sat down to read our scripture. My beloved Little Ones are gathered around me.
Filled with anticipation, I asked my five year old daughter what holiday is coming up.
"Easter!" she exclaimed.
"That's right!" I encouraged proudly, "and what is Easter about???"
A heartbeat of a pause. The Humpty Dumpty of my hope teeters.
"THE EASTER BUNNY!!!!!!" she screeched, and both she and Thing 2 started writhing on the floor in delight, amongst the shattered remains of all my plans.
But like a doomed sea captain in a fog, I floundered onward.
"Um, no. Not the Easter bunny. Well. Kind of. But what is Easter REALLY about?" I pressed.
"CANDYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!" they both exclaimed.
"What, besides candy, is Easter about?" I insisted.
"A person?" I asked hopefully.
Oh well. Maybe next year. At least there will always be Mini Eggs.