Growing up in Malaysia, where Easter mostly meant church, church and more church (for my Christian friends, as I was raised in a Buddhist-Hindu household), I never realized how incredibly fun Easter could be. As an adult, I was aware of the new traditions here in the States, but it wasn’t until I had kids of my own that I learned to appreciate the wonders of this particular holiday.
As a side note, I find it interesting that most of the kid-centric holidays here seem to revolve around creative ways of pushing candy on kids. Like they need help with that. Sometimes I wonder if Halloween and Easter are Hershey’s holidays as much as Sweetest Day and Grandmother’s Day are Hallmark-ones.
But this isn’t a tirade on candy, cavities or capitalism (God, I love alliteration!) As an expatriate, I can’t help but make these observations; these weren’t the traditions with which I grew up after all. While we’re in the midst of creating new traditions for our young family, I unabashedly participated in the holiday as much as any “typical” American would - dye eggs, organize an egg hunt plus brunch among friends with kids, break out the candy, and perpetuate the Easter Bunny myth.
On Sunday, after the joyful discovery of her Easter basket, Little Miss would occasionally look up from playing with a Bunny-sponsored toy and speak to the air, “Thank you for my Play-Doh,” and commence her enjoyment of it. Once, My Guy looked at her, puzzled, and sensing that, she explained, “The Easter Bunny is magic. He can hear me anytime I talk to him even if he’s not here.” He threw me a glance, and I responded with a look that said yep, that was all me.
But everything else? It was the combined effort of friends, old and new, to make this Easter a memorable one for my Little Miss. And me. (Thank you! – you know who you are.)
But you know what else made Easter weekend memorable? Thumper pulled herself up for the first time! Apparently, Christ was the not the only who has risen.
Of course she chose to stand the one time when no one was in the room with her. I walked into the family room and there she was, on her two dimpled feet. So much for switching career gears so I could be home to catch these momentous milestones.
But I’m not bitter; I’m elated. And slightly sad. There is always bittersweetness in the celebration of a new milestone as that also means she is that much closer to leaving her babyhood behind her.
One day it’s magical Easter bunnies and the triumph of standing at will. And the next…I’m just not ready to think about it yet.
For now, I will cheer each milestone and encourage my babies to go even further while I try to ignore these very real and often painful pangs in my chest. When I was preparing myself for parenthood, I knew what I was signing up for. But knowing is one thing. Feeling…well, that’s quite another.
I don’t think I could ever be prepared for that.
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