“This Sunday is Easter,” I told my Dad on the phone the other day.
“Is it? Well, it’s just another day for me.”
I resisted the urge to explain the religious significance, which as a Catholic, he ought to know as well as I do. He says the same thing about Christmas and his birthday. Maybe it’s a self-protective mechanism. If he doesn’t expect anything, he won’t be disappointed.
Me, I expect everything, and I’m always disappointed. That’s why it felt easier this year to spend my March 9 birthday at a Best Western in Blythe, California on my way to Tucson. I ate leftover pizza in my room and chocolate lava cake at Denny’s. No candles, no singing, no gifts. Which is exactly what would have happened at home because I don’t have children and grandchildren to gather around on my birthday, just a dog who doesn’t do birthdays.
Anyway, Easter. For Christians, it’s the most important event of the year, commemorating Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. When I was a kid, our daily newspaper would print a full-page picture of a cross, a risen Jesus or a field of lilies with a headline like, “He is risen!” They wouldn’t dare do that now; religion is kept separate from everything else.
I would wake up to Easter baskets sitting on my dresser. The Easter Bunny came during the night! Of course it was my mother, delivering the goodies from herself and my grandparents. Those baskets were full of candy and toys. After a quick look, we all went to Mass, came home to a breakfast of scrambled eggs and linguiça sausage, and dove into the baskets. Soon we were eating the ears off our chocolate bunnies.
Grownups don’t get Easter baskets. If you’re not religious, it looks like Easter is for kids: making color-crayoned pictures of rabbits or papier-mache eggs at school, dyeing hard-boiled eggs, egg hunts at dawn, encounters with adults dressed in rabbit costumes. Candy, toys, parties. Fun!
It’s another one of those holidays that may sting if we don’t have children, especially if we desperately want to have them. Whether you spend a quiet day with adults or watch everyone else’s kids having fun, it can be hard. Hang on. It doesn’t last long.
But there is much to celebrate. Before Easter came about as the celebration of Christ’s resurrection, people celebrated the end of winter and the beginning of spring. It’s a time of rebirth. Out my office window, the robins and jays are back. Daffodils wave their yellow heads. The berry vines are loaded with new green leaves, and the trillium are blooming in the woods. The grass is tall and lush. People may disappoint you, but spring comes every year.
You can tell yourself it’s just another day and try to ignore the whole thing. But why not celebrate? Buy yourself a chocolate bunny. Dye some eggs. Go to church. Or go for a hike. Weep if you must, then go on.
Happy Easter, my friends.
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5 thoughts on “Easter is not just for folks with kids”
Happy belated birthday and happy Easter! Easter to me means spring is here and that new life is blooming in the trees, flowers and plants. It means that warmer weather is coming. It reminds me of my youth and painting eggs with my grandmother that I miss deeply. Fortunately for me, this is a holiday that brings good feelings rather than unhappy ones.
That’s good to hear. Enjoy.
I had a tough day. Had to go visit husband’s parents, where we knew his sister and brother would both be, with their two children each. Hubby takes Easter eggs for their children. When we had foster kids, they didn’t bother to buy for them. I still resent it.
Got a day to myself tomorrow, thankfully. I am going to plant some more seeds for my garden. Got several others I planted two weeks ago coming through now. They give me pleasure.
I’m sorry it was so hard. Families seem to be generally clueless. Take comfort in your garden.
I’m like your dad. I don’t expect anything anymore. Holidays and birthdays are just days. I try to just ignore them. It’s probably not the healthiest coping skill, but it does seem to make it easier to not set myself up for disappointment.