Despite halfhearted enthusiasm on my part, we had a good Easter today.
My first complaint was that we were going to Robert’s dad’s house for the Easter meal. It’s nothing against Frank, or John (Robert’s brother, who also lives there); it’s just easier on the actual day of the meal to have it at our house because it saves me having to get everyone ready and presentable and then schlep all the food across town, especially if I’ve spent an unconscionable amount of time in the kitchen that day like I did last time we did a special dinner. What’s not easier, however, is the housecleaning involved leading up to the day, and that’s how I ended up there rather than here. I wasn’t really excited about spending half the day there, either. Again, no insult meant to the company but my idea of a fun afternoon is not watching The Masters tournament and, really, how many people are more comfortable in someone else’s house than their own? Let’s just say it wasn’t exactly what I’d pick as my optimum scenario, given the choice (and a maid to come in and make my house decent for me).
My second complaint was that I was completely unmotivated to do any sort of baskets or treats for the kids. We don’t really ‘do’ the Easter Bunny here. It’s not out of any moral objection; more like I feel sort of uncomfortable fibbing to the kids about fictional characters being real and it takes all of my energy to keep from feeling guilty about pulling the wool over their eyes on the Santa thing. Therefore the Easter Bunny (and the Tooth Fairy) have been cut from the program. Call it downsizing on my part. At any rate, in the weeks leading up to today, I didn’t feel as though it was terribly important for me to have something for them, and then a shortage of funds eliminated the option of doing a big blowout as I’d occasionally done for Easters past.
Despite this, last night I got to feeling a bit badly about not having anything for them and began rethinking my plan. When we moved we did a lot of paring down of our junk and one of the things I tossed was our collection of plastic eggs. Additionally their Easter baskets seem to have gone missing since last year, so there wasn’t a chance of my staging baskets and an egg hunt with things we already had in the house. And so 9:30 p.m. found me running out to Walmart (I needed some marjoram for one of my appetizers, anyway) and browsing the Easter aisle. At first I grabbed three chocolate bunnies, three cheap baskets, some plastic eggs, Easter grass and candy to fill the eggs but then I spotted some cute stuffed bunnies that were pretty inexpensive. The kids do love candy but they also love stuffed animals and they’d been eyeballing the Easter ones last time we were there. So I wavered for a good ten minutes – baskets, bunnies, baskets, bunnies. In the end I went with the stuffed bunnies and also kept the (small) chocolate bunnies to go along with the theme. My reasoning was that, really, one chocolate bunny is more processed sugar than a human being needs to eat, anyway, plus they have access to no less than eight hundred other types of candy at Frank’s house, so why waste money on more?
Well, it turned out to be the right decision. All three loved their bunnies, which are identical except for color. I like them because their stuffing is made out of recycled plastic bottles. The kids carried them around all day, taking them over to Frank’s for the meal. They seemed totally happy and content with their two small items (which, all told, set me back less than twenty bucks) and it was a lesson to this mama about restraint and less being more. Now if I can just remember that when the next birthday comes around we’ll be in good shape!
As for the first complaint, well, that turned out okay, too. The appetizers I planned to take were fairly easy to make. I did spend some time in the kitchen this morning preparing things but it was manageable; I didn’t overextend myself like I did for Super Bowl Sunday, when I spent about five hours fixing food. We headed over to Frank’s around 2:00 and Eliza took a nap as soon as we got there, which left me some free time to do some reading and ignore the golf on t.v. The appetizers went down a treat and the meal was very good. It was a nice time and we got out of there around 7:00, with me not feeling like the day had dragged or been longer than it really was. As we drove home with the kids chattering in the back of the van, each holding his/her bunny, okay, I admit it – I kind of got the warm fuzzies. Especially when John-Zachary piped up, “I wish it could be Easter every day!” Now if that’s not a frigging Hallmark Channel moment I don’t know what is.