HAPPY EASTER, PEEPS!
Its time for yellow and pink Easter Peeps, Jelly Beans, and Hollow Chocolate Bunnies.
Some of my greatest childhood Easter memories are of getting all dressed up in my new Easter dress and heading to church with my family. Momma would get my brother, Ronny, and me all gussied up, and we'd first pose for our annual Easter picture in front of Daddy's roses that he'd pampered for years.
Now that I think about it every picture looked exactly the same, except we were just a year older. Same poses. Same effort our parents made to get us to stand still and not mess up our new clothes or the Easter picture with the Yellow Peace Roses proudly serving as our backdrop.
Our holiday routine was the same as well. We'd go to church as a family and enjoy some powerful Easter hymns, including Onward Christian Soldiers. I never really got it at the time. Were we in a war? Easter Lilies, Easter Eggs, Jesus and HIs Resurrection, and . . . Soldiers? Huh?
After church, it was time for a trip to Nanny and Papa's house for an Easter feast of ham, deviled eggs, lots of side dishes, and several of Nanny's scrumptious desserts including her yummy Chocolate Sheath Cake, MY FAV!!!
Since our morning always began with the "SURPRISE" front porch discovery of giant Easter baskets filled with goodies from the Easter Bunny, Uncle Jerry had plenty of eggs to hide in the backyard. Ronny and I loved our Easter Egg Hunts and Papa, ALL 90 pounds of him, would join in the fun. Momma and Daddy were all about the festivities while Nanny finished up kitchen duty before joining us. Lots of pictures were taken, sweet treats consumed, and later that afternoon Uncle Jerry would head to his room to practice his bass guitar.
Jerry was 10 years younger than my mother, and always the "hip" uncle. Ronny and I had fun with him because he was young enough to not be quite like the "real" adults, and he played cool music in a cool band. We could occasionally catch him stealing a kiss or two from a girlfriend, though Nanny tried to keep a careful eye on that!
Not much Hanky Panky on Nanny and Papa's watch....
This will be our first Easter without Jerry, as he was reunited with Nanny and Papa in heaven last fall. I sure miss his humor and love for all of us and his sweet young granddaughters. Things are changing as years go by, and we miss the traditions and precious ones from our younger years.
I am so grateful for a family that values love and togetherness. We have a sticktoitiveness that binds us, and I am proud of that heritage my parents and grandparents modeled for me. As Papa Lovell would say, "We are here to love and be loved."
As unwelcome silver hairs find their place among the dark brown, the mentees have now become the mentors. And I ask myself, what would I most want to pass along to parents about making Easter memories for your young peeps?
1) Love unconditionally.
While the clothes and the roses may appear perfect, life is not. Family is not. Relationships are not. Life can get pretty real some days! There are challenges with ups and downs, illnesses, learning disabilities, disappointments, grief and loss, but love and kindness will see you through. Always work toward restoration and as you "Soldier Up," remember to put on your shoes of peace. (Ephesians 6:15)
2) Honor traditions.
Create some rituals and traditions that your family will hold on to. It doesn't have to be quite like our umpteen poses with the roses, but there is safety and comfort in predictability. I can't imagine an Easter without family worship together, and I'm thankful my parents raised me with hymns, sound teaching, and community in our local church. The chocolate serotonin boosts weren't too shabby either! (They aren't brain geeks and didn't know they were raising serotonin.) LOL
3) Have fun!
Play is such an important part of child development. Lots of recent research says it is vital for the brain. Our kids won't remember the perfect Easter dinner or the pretty China. (FULL disclosure - I come from a paper plate family.... Cute ones, that match!) But they'll remember the fun they had with you - dying eggs, baking and decorating Easter bunny cakes, finding hidden treasures, and the laugher and love shared in the Springtime.
And if you didn't have the kinds of experiences in childhood you wished for, the cool thing about life is that it gives us re-dos. Many of them! As Mommas and Daddies, you can still heal and grow and make those cherished times for the little or big ones in your care. It is never too late.
Drop us a line and let us know some of your favorite traditions at Easter time.
Love and hugs,
P.S. Did you know you can now get Peeps in Sour Green Apple flavor? Sour watermelon too!
P.S.S. Sour flavors are good for alerting if your child has sensory processing issues of low energy or under-arousal. (in other words acts like a slug on the couch!)