Church was followed by donuts, candy, and boiled eggs. Easter had finally arrived. After forty days of sacrifice and fasting, baskets of sweets were a welcome sight. Of course the children had to find them first.
This year the Easter Bunny threw a curve by hiding the Easter Baskets at my parents’ house. But he was so unkind as to not tell any of us before hand. So the children rushed into our home to change out of their church clothes, all the while keeping a sharp eye out for the hidden baskets. At last I made the announcement that I had received word that the Easter Baskets were at their Grandparents’ house. So we tramped over and they commenced the search.
All eight of my siblings cheered on my children as they scrambled over and around the furniture in the large room. To my left side was one of my brothers hoisting up #4 to get her Easter Basket off a hook on the wall, to my right a sister was attempting to lift up #6 for his basket on a similar hook, while #5 yanked on my pant leg and pointed up at the basket on the ceiling fan. The rest of the Easter Baskets were in more down-to-earth locations, not nearly as memorable.
Last to find her basket was #1. She meandered around, holding #7 by the hand as well as his basket of candy. She was hoping to avoid notice and locate her basket surreptitiously. Unfortunately for her, once it was realized that she was the only one to be basketless, all attention was turned her way, and she was forcibly cheered into finding hers.
What followed was an Easter Egg Hunt in my mother’s garden. My children were again cheered on with woops and shouts and good natured pointing out the eggs that were hard to find. Again #1 wanted to linger in the back hoping to gain the mystical power of invisibility. And again she found herself forcibly cheered into the hunt like a fox chased by barking hounds. Whether she wanted to or not, my siblings were determined to make her have fun.
After all the eggs were found and we retired to the house, the candy feast began. As I sipped my coffee in the midst of chocolate-eggs and jelly-beans, I noticed #1 wanting to mope. I called her over and inquired what the matter was.
#1 closely examined her toes as she answered, “Everyone was yelling at me.”
“Oh, they were just having fun, and trying to get you to have fun.”
She looked up at me and said sharply, “It wasn’t fun!”
Poor little girl. I gave her a hug and offered the reassurance she needed to know that her uncles and aunts loved her. A little attention from Dad and she was no longer overwhelmed. And so, for one child, Easter was saved.