Monday, April 09, 2007

Our Easter

We had, truly, such a remarkable Easter. Not at all rushed, we awoke to the sound of Dylan's feet beating a hasty path into our bedroom. "Mom! Dad!" he cried. "The Easter Bunny was here! And come look...." he called, as he ran just as quickly back into the kitchen. Caitlyn, sleeping soundly moments before in bed beside Darren, opened her eyes just a split second after a broad smile formed on her happy face. Meghan popped right up in the center of our bed and couldn't wait to see what all the excitement was about! And so, at twenty minutes to seven on Easter Sunday morning, the rest of us made our way to the kitchen to join in the revelry and--perhaps more importantly--to brew some coffee!

In all seriousness, though, it really was a sight to behold: Dylan, Caitlyn, and Meghan all scrambling to see what the Easter Bunny had left in each of their baskets. I know that it is precisely times like these that I will miss the most when they are all grown and gone. Their contagious enthusiasm and excitement and pure joy makes my heart hurt, sometimes, with an ache that I could never have understood before I was a mother. They are so awesome, my amazing and sweet and beautiful children.

Dylan was absolutely beside himself to find that, just as he had been hoping for, there really was a crucifix of his very own waiting for him right there in his Easter basket, tucked in among an assortment of brightly colored plastic eggs and resting in between a chocolate cross and chocolate bunny. (We took it with us to church later that morning and he was so happy to have Father bless it before Mass.)

Caitlyn and Dylan were so thrilled to see that not only did the Easter Bunny eat all of the sugar cookies and carrots they so thoughtfully left out the night before, but also left a note of thanks on the card Dylan made for him!

Meghan was so cute with her plastic eggs. She would gather as many as she could carry and walk around with them, clutching them to her chest and stooping periodically to retrieve the ones that invariably fell to the floor. She didn't want to put them in her basket, though, no matter how much we coaxed her...she was much happier to hold them!

My mom came over later and joined us for a breakfast of hard boiled eggs, English muffins, and a lovely cake delivered to us by our neighbors earlier that morning. She helped us get the kids ready for Mass and then, in a much more labor intensive endeavor, helped us try to get at least one good picture of all three kids dressed up in their Easter outfits. Believe me, this was no small task! They looked so gorgeous, though, that I was fiercely determined...and ultimately, I was quite pleased with this one--particularly because it is one in which Meghan is demonstrating her trademark "scrunchy face", one that she makes on demand to varying degrees of "scrunchiness" and which never fails to crack us up!

We stopped by my dads house after Mass to visit for a little bit and then came home to prepare our own late lunch. While the ham cooked, we played in the backyard with the chalk the kids got from their Uncle Robby, and then hunted the cascarones we had painted the day before. What fun! This is actually a tradition that my family has enjoyed from my earliest memories of Easter, with all of my twenty first cousins, to now...with all of our own children.

We ate outdoors at our picnic table and it was perfectly lovely. Lots of sunshine, birds singing, good food, and our own little streaker! We had just finished eating when I told the kids that it was time to go in for baths. While Darren and I were busy getting the girls cleaned up, Dylan ran into the house and I was so pleased that he went without argument. Not two seconds later, though, here he comes again...running out into the backyard without a single stitch of clothes! Happily he hopped onto his swing and sailed through the air, laughing all the while as Darren and I were, ourselves, collapsed in fits of laughter. I can only imagine what our neighbors, who were having their own dinner out in their backyard, must have thought. Oh, the scandal of it all! :)

As we were getting ready for bed last night after the kids were asleep, Darren and I realized that this was the first holiday we've ever celebrated entirely on our own. My parents each had other engagements (one of which my brother was also attending), and it was, actually, so nice to just relax and have our own little family celebration. It didn't matter that the house was less than immaculate, I didn't care that our dinner dishes didn't match, it was okay with me that we ate with confetti in our hair, and neither of us minded cleaning up afterward. I love my extended family very much. They are the foundation of all the holiday traditions that I hold so dear. But, there is also much to be said for the new traditions Darren and I are creating for our own family, and I really love that.


Crafty Mom said...

I love the idea of the cascarones. I had never heard of them before. Your children look beautiful in their Easter finery. And the story of Dylan made me laugh out loud. Easter blessings to you all.

Kristen Laurence said...

Great pictures, Melissa, and Happy Easter to you and yours!!

Misty said...

I just love the way you so perfectly put that in your second paragraph! Also the last three sentences. We celebrated alone this year, too. You took the words out of my mouth exactly--well, other than the fact that my husband's name is Mike! ;)

Ladybug Mommy Maria said...

Sounds absolutely wonderful!!!!

Your children are darling - we had our own little streaker, too! She's outgrown it, now ;-)!

Happy Easter, Melissa - oh, and we'll say a prayer for your dh's surgery!

Margaret in Minnesota said...

You have beautiful children, Melissa!

Happy Easter!!!

Alice said...

What a perfectly beautiful Easter!!!

Caitlyn looks exactly like you!