This year, friends emailed and called with anticipation about what our yearly Peaster plans might entail–Nate’s crazy egg dyeing? A stroll around 5th Avenue at the Easter Parade with photographic evidence?
I sheepishly admitted we didn’t have any plans.
As it turns out, more and more our Peaster tradition is no tradition at all, taking a little of this and a little of that, and making the rest up as we go along.
The Type B Mom’s Guide to Holiday Traditions.
Don’t steal it. I said it first.
We started the morning with Sage dressing like a godddess of spring, skipping out the door in a fake flower garland (best 2009 Renaissance Fair investment ever) with Thalia to the local park’s Easter egg hunt at Nate’s suggestion. As we got nearer, it because abundantly, silently, dreadfully clear that there was no Easter egg hunt.
Well surely there was an Easter egg hunt. But not here. Not today. Unless the point was to hunt for the Easter egg hunt? Because that actually could be pretty original, especially if shots are involved.
I am fortunate to have the kind of resilient children who spring back quickly from disappointment, and so we jumped in the car and headed to an early Easter brunch. Which, like many of our brunches, involves us ordering our children food then begging them to eat it for an hour. At least the biscuits were a hit.
Lunch was a bowl of matzoh ball soup from the local deli, with the promise later of a piece of chocolate covered matzoh–that we would hide at the kids’ request, thus covering the Non-practicing Atheist Jew Relatively Non-God-y Seder portion of our day.
For dinner, we sat down to a dinner of pasta (so parve!) and goat cheese salad. Sage reminded me that “we never did the dinner with the part with the kids’ wine and you put it on your plate in little dots.”
In Sage language, this means Seder.
Oh right–the Seder.
So I grabbed the kids’ Haggadah-slash-creativity book that we adore, split the last remaining pouch of Honest Kids grape something or other into two glasses, lit two scented votives, and said the blessing over the lemon verbena candles, just as our ancestors in bondage may have, had they had access to excellent online deals on votives at Fab.com while waiting for that bread to rise. I told the quick story about Passover, skipping as fast as I could to the “part with the kids’ wine” because Sage was firsty. And then we got to the part in the Hagaddah where we talk about what we were lucky for.
One year ago: Thalia said for friends and family. Sage said for the cats. And farts. Then I asked them what they want to do better in the coming year. Thalia said coloring in the lines. Sage said fart.
This year, Thalia said she was lucky to have two great parents. She has not changed and never will. Sage said she is lucky that she can read and that she’s the only kid in her class who can whistle.
I prefer that answer to “farts.”
Then we talked about hope and giving hope to other people, and whether we could make a promise about how we might help make the world a little better this year.
Thalia wants to do chores to earn money for people in need, so we talked about all the kinds of charities out there. She chose one that sends girls to schools in other countries–perhaps UNICEF, or Vittana–and Sage got exceptionally excited by the The Nature Conservancy which helps save animals. Also, it’s her Papa’s very favorite charity. We made envelopes with their names and charities written on them, and pinned them to the wall to collect dollar bills and loose change over the next few months.
Finally, we hid the chocolate covered matzoh (behold, for even Nate, the fist-shaking Atheist, was all to happy to join us for this part, even re-hiding my own attempt which he deemed “too easy.”) After 160 hours or so, they found the chocolate covered matzoh (slightly melted), ate and somewhat rejected the chocolate covered matzoh, and crawled into bed with me, faces smudged with chocolate covered matzoh. They curled up on either side of me in bed, as we watched the first hour of the Ten Commandments, pausing every 6.5 seconds to explain what was going on again, who that one is again, and why they wanted to let the old lady under the stone die, and why that one lady would kiss Moses and then kiss Ramses too if she loves Moses and wow wasn’t her jewelry pretty, and isn’t it hard to believe that that one grew up to be Lily Munster?
As in my own childhood tradition, they were not allowed to stay up for the parting of the Red Sea.