My Aunt and Uncle used to come every Easter to stay with us when I was a kid. I loved that, and I loved them, but I also really loved the full size crisped-rice solid chocolate bunny that they brought with them, FOR ME.
We’d have a slow savour your coffee and muffin morning and then we’d have a living room Easter egg hunt before we went off to church. Without fail, that big bunny would be hidden between the books on our bookshelf, because it was THAT big.
I have really great Easter memories, and I want my kids to have that as well.
This Easter we did our Easter story advent, which sounds fancy, but it was just an old egg carton that we decorated and filled with plastic eggs. Which were then filled with tiny advent cards that tell a little piece of Jesus and the Easter Story everyday.
My toddlers really wanted to crack open all of the eggs in one sitting, so I guess we successfully learned the Easter Story and some restraint, all at the same time.
Special Lego sets show up on the holidays around here and sit on our table like a fancy centerpiece. You get to build it and play with it, and then I pack it away again until next year.
The point is that we’re forming some sort of tradition. Tradition is important to me, and it’s not overly involved, it’s just something we always do so my kids know what to expect, and they start to look forward to things like I do.
I kind of cry a lot randomly on this holiday too. I get super reflective (which I think is absolutely appropriate) and I try to imagine all of it from everybody’s perspective. Now that I’m a mom, I can’t even believe Mary had to watch Jesus die right in front of her eyes.
And then there’s also the fact that Jesus didn’t have to die, but he chose to.
And then the part where he didn’t stay dead, but conquered death itself… It’s overwhelming, and just so beautiful, and such a gift, so obviously some little guy in our house will be frequently heard stating, “Mom’s crying again, grab her a kleenex.”
You’ll also probably hear a voice saying, “Why do we go to so much special church at Easter mom?”
“It’s how we celebrate, like how you have a couple of birthday parties when we remember the day you were born. We all share a cake when we celebrate and remember you because that’s the birthday symbol. So grape juice and bread is our special Jesus symbol, how we remember that he gave his life in our place. Do you want to be part of the celebration?”
The big boys had their first communion with me this past Good Friday and it was special. And I obviously had a single tear in my eyeball, because I’m a softhearted mom now.
“That was great, but I wish they gave us bigger pieces of bread.”
“Well, I’m betting Jesus ripped off a huge piece of bread for his friends at that supper back then… He gets you man. And he loves you so much, and we should have communion at our house with the biggest grape juice and bread loaf we can find. I think he’d like us celebrating like that.”
My biggest prayer for my boys is that they would have a very real revelation of who Jesus is at a very young age, and if a big loaf of bread is going to help that revelation, then you can find me at the store, buying all of the bread.