Tuesday, April 6, 2021

A Half-Way Normal Easter.

Last year, Easter was....weird. Lonely. Quiet. It was nice not to have a morning rush, I guess? I normally cook brunch for 11, so cooking for just my household without a timeline was nice. Slow is almost always welcome. But it was still strange. Happy, but strange. Most holidays felt that way for the last year.

Easter Eggs This year I wanted life to feel just a little bit more normal. Normal-normal is still who knows how long away, but half-way normal felt exactly right for right now.

Our traditions started on Good Friday - the first day of spring break for my boys, and also the day of my first Covid vaccine. (I have so much more to share about that later but I'm mentioning it mostly because it colored the entire weekend with one of those "before and after" feelings.) It was a bright, sunny day - the kids and I were both euphoric over hitting pause on school and our household inching towards immunity, and so it was the perfect time to break out the dye tablets and crayons and fill the house with the pungent smells of eggs and vinegar.

I'm just happy that they still get excited for the little bits of tradition like this. I'm trying to soak up every second of it since we're careening our way to a teenage household. 

I sipped tea while I watched them get messy and share their techniques, and I dyed a few of my own, also. I was so nervous about potential the side effects of my vaccine that my best efforts at remaining present were still only about half-way, but I still really enjoyed taking a creative moment of tradition with my boys.


Sunday morning arrived with an abundance of sunshine. At least, it did a couple hours after we were woken up by excited egg-hunters. In fact, they were sufficiently sugared up and skipping around the house by the time the sun shone through our windows. 

I made our traditional brunch (just for the five of us), which was amazing as always. The stars of the show being Matt's grandma's traditional placek (Polish coffee cake) and corned beef hash. This year we also had the derpiest of butter lambs join us at the table. Jake asked why it said "Australia" on its butt - haha!

Polish Butter Lamb

After brunch, we spent some time cleaning up the yard and getting ready for guests. This is where the most normal part of our half-way normal Easter came in: having guests. They weren't allowed indoors and they didn't share a meal with us, but it was the largest gathering we'd had in over a year. It was only a group of 14 at its height, but that felt like a concert. There was even a moment when I was surprised by the noise - in a good way. My Dad brought individually wrapped ham and jam biscuits and banana carrot cake muffins and we snacked while the kids searched for eggs around the yard. 



While we've seen them in passing (making deliveries and such) and through Zoom screens, this is the first time my kids have played with their cousins in over a year. It might have even been Christmas of 2019, because we would usually live the homebody life from Christmas-Easter each year to help our immunocompromised son stay healthy. (That part of quarantine/social distancing has always felt normal to us.) It had to be outdoors and they had to wear masks, but it was so good for them to play and have fun and be kids. It was my favorite thing.

So of course, we had to force them to take pictures together.

It gives me hope for the future. 
For a Memorial Day picnic - together. 
For a 4th of July celebration - together.
For an actual 10th birthday party for Henry this summer. Together.

This weekend, most of the adults were only half-way to immune. We'll all be finished up and immune (at least as immune as our vaccines get) by Mother's Day. We might even get to hug? And as someone who doesn't hug at every turn or feel the need to physically touch other human beings at all - my excitement over that idea is telling. 

I don't know when or even really if we'll get all the way there. But for right now, half-way feels pretty great.

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