Sunday, March 31, 2013

Raining on your Easter parade

It was supposed to rain today and maybe thunder. I've lived in California long enough to ignore that and schedule an open water swim anyway. I leave in 45 minutes and the sun is shining. In the meantime, I am watching Les Mis. Because it's Easter and at our house the Easter Bunny doesn't bring candy but MOVIES!

When I was a kid, we were Catholic and Easter was one of the big holidays. I have to admit, it didn't really resonate with me, not like Christmas which even today remains my favorite holiday. But it was still a big deal. I remember hunting for our Easter candy all over the house. And finding some in July.

I remember getting a new outfit every year and going to church all dressed up in our Easter finery including a new dress, new shoes, new hat and purse and sometimes even a jacket. I've seen picture of myself and my two sisters with our matching outfits. We were cute, but in a sort of scary Children in a Horror Movie way.

I do remember the candy. I remember getting a chocolate bunny and eating the entire thing in one sitting even though it make me sick. I remember getting these chocolate eggs too. They had some white stuff in the middle and a coconut flavor. I don't remember much of the rest. I know there were jelly beans but I'm not all that keen on jelly beans except the licorise ones. My sisters didn't like the licorise ones so we often traded.

When I had kids, I wanted them to share in these traditions. But I didn't want them to grow up with my food issues. So I made a decision early on not to emphasis the candy. Mr. Mac's family also had its traditions and his Easter egg hunt wasn't for candy but for plastic eggs full of coins. So we did that and I made baskets with a small amount of candy -- definitely the traditional chocolate bunny and the jelly beans and maybe some Hershey's kisses or something else to round it out -- and a large amount of TOYS.

Then, as the kids got older, the toys got older too and turned into CDs and DVDs.

So this year, I've got an adult -- MacBoy is 21 -- how did that happen?! -- and a High School student -- and none of us are even believers any more. So I asked Mini-Mac if she wanted to do anything for Easter this year and she got excited and asked for a CD.

"Remember how you sometimes gave us a CD in our Easter baskets?" she said. They didn't have the CD she wanted at Target, hence Les Mis. But I think she's happier with Les Mis.

When I was making this decision to not load up my kids with chocolate, I wondered about it. Was I somehow depriving them of something special? Was I being one of THOSE parents. You know the ones -- they have some cause that seems more important than letting their kids be kids.

Of course, I'm too lazy to take it to extremes and when I think about what was in my kids' baskets, it was still a freakingly large amount of candy by some standards. But still, there's this idea that all this stuff is part of a normal childhood and, if you don't give it to your kids, they are missing out somehow. So I fretted. But stuck to my guns.

One of the hard thing about being a parent is that you make decisions and don't get to see the result for ten to twenty years. That's why I was happy to see Mini-Mac so excited about getting a CD and to see that I hadn't warped her in some way by going against the grain and not doing a traditional Easter with a ton of candy.

Okay, Les Mis is almost over and its time to go swimming and the rain is coming back so I better hurry. Hopefully it won't rain on our Easter open water swim or at least it won't thunder.
Post a Comment