24 Apr

Happy Easter.  We are winding down around here.  It’s 5:00 p.m.   Certain among us have been up since around 6 a.m. and she has been bouncing through our house like a chocolate energizer bunny ever since.  Henry is finally taking a nap.  Yes at 5.  Yes, I know I am going to regret this, but it seemed like his best chance of living to see tomorrow, so I put him down, even though it’s technically too late.  Wade was threatening not to play with him anymore, Anna had said she wasn’t going to be his friend, and I?  Well, let’s just say that I am always looking for someone to lay down with for a nap.  Whether at 1 p.m. or 5 p.m., so I didn’t mind wrestling him into his bed and listening to soothing African lullabies in a darkened room, under a slow-moving ceiling fan.  It actually seemed like a very civilized thing to do.  I will do it again around 9 p.m. when he will again thrash around, tears rolling down his sticky little face, sobbing “but I am not tie-ward.”  After three days of nothing but candy and toys and egg hunts, I would bet a dollar that he is tie-warder than he believes, but my principle rule is to not engage, and I already violated it once this week.  I have met my quota.

We had such a great day.  Church and then lunch at the home of the Stevensons.  We are orphans, and we are their family mission project.  I always miss my family, but holidays are the hardest.  Even when I have my children with me.  I was the oldest of six grandchildren on my dad’s side and we always had Easter egg hunts and ham and potatoes and something green and Sister Schubert’s dinner rolls and real butter and several desserts, and we would eat and eat, and then we would talk about how good everything was and then we would talk about how we’d all eaten too much.  And then we would have dessert and coffee, and the bigger kids (me) would always re-hide the same old eggs (emptied of their candy) for the little ones, and we would do this over and over.

And the men would all sit back like they were exhausted from all the cooking that their wives had done, and the women would wash dishes and put up the food and say they needed to go for a walk.  And that is exactly how it was today at the Stevensons’ house.  Except that the men at this gathering tend to be a little more active in preparation and cleaning than the Carters.  Probably everybody in the world is.  The Carter men like to watch football and talk about the weather and who they know and what everybody’s doing.  In the den.  While the aunts and grandmothers are in the kitchen.

Today, there were two babies, two three year-olds, some pretty little girls, my children and a couple of really nice tweens who are almost-12 and 10.  Lots of children.  Lots of easter eggs.  Candy, toys, temporary tattoos and stickers.  Some elderly ladies.  grandparents and young parents.  Maybe 25 people or so.  A full house.  The children all sat together at a table outside.  The bigger kids took care of the little ones.  They let the little guys find their eggs first.

It was exactly what a holiday should be, but I missed my family.  I hate that someone’s kindness and inclusion can result in anything except a warm glow of appreciation, but there it is:  the ugly side of gratitude.  It hurts to feel like a widow or an orphan.  You can become painfully aware of how you don’t have a spot in this world.  An automatic place to gather for holidays.  I do have that, but it’s a 12 hours’ drive, and if we showed up, my mother would possibly check into a hotel.

On the way home, I told them that they had been so well-behaved and I was really proud of them for being the kind of children who can be invited anywhere because they are nice to have around.  People’s hospitality is a gift to you, and your appreciating it and being good company is a gift to them.  That’s why you were invited.  Because the party is better when you are there.

Like my mom and I decided a long time ago, the world could be completely transformed if everyone were taught some good manners.  I am working on it, one exhausted child at a time.


2 Responses to “easter”

  1. sonya April 25, 2011 at 12:24 pm #

    You are doing an egg-cellent job in the manners dept along with everything else.

    • brightenthecorner April 25, 2011 at 2:11 pm #

      well, I wouldn’t ssay everything. I did have to lock myself in my room last night for a self-imposed time-out. It seemed to the safest course for everybody involved.

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