Once again it is that magical time of year when the vacuum beater brush is thickly twined with plastic grass, and I throw the head and neck of the lamb cake in the trash and vow never to eat sugar again.
This year I fulfilled my lifelong ambition of creating the most stressful Easter ever. I assigned my choir the most difficult piece we’ve ever sung, and then added another last minute anthem for good measure–and then promised to bring donuts and orange juice to our 8am rehearsal Easter morning.
And then Kent and I decided to throw an Easter Seder for 65 people during his Sunday School class. So while Kent was orchestrating serving the food for the Seder (he and I had set up tables and chairs the night before), I had to get myself and all my kids ready and haul everything to the church. Fluffy’s hair didn’t get done like I wanted to do it. My hair didn’t get done like I wanted to do it. Fluffy couldn’t find her other glove which RUINED HER ENTIRE ENSEMBLE for me. Aaaaaand I left the boys Don Drapers at home. Fail.
On the upside, I bullied, bossed, and berated the poor choir into a stunning performance of Randall Thompson’s Alleluia, and Kent’s Easter Seder went great.
The Easter bunny skipped out of the last 20 minutes of church to fill the baskets and set up an egg hunt in our front yard. Oh the peels of laughter and squeals of delight! Oh the unbridled enthusiasm for plastic candy vessels!
And then I took a nap. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I wish. Instead, I made muhammara and hummus (Lebanese Taverna recipe uses too much tahini, be warned!), decorated the lamb cake, and took those with our haroset to a four-family Middle Eastern Easter feast–which turned out fabulous! So much better than our the year we attempted a Southern Easter Feast.
I was kind of a nightmare getting the kids ready Easter morning and cursing Kent who got dressed and left early to work on the Seder. To be fair, I’m not sure Kent has the slightest notion of how much work goes into Easter. This look on his face is one of genuine surprise since he has no idea what the Easter bunny brought or how she procured it without the kids knowing.
Kent’s Easter involvement amounts to:
1. Asking me what tie he’s supposed to wear.
2. Printing my Easter Seder program. Making haroset.
3. Preparing his lesson on Seder’s, orchestrating the serving of the Seder, officiating/reading the Seder service during church.
4. Driving the kids home.
5. Watching Despicable Me 2 with the kids while I cook.
6. Eating Middle Eastern food at the party.
My Easter involvement includes:
1. Coming up with an Easter dressing concept.
2. Finding clothes that fit the concept. Yes, I ended my clothes-buying fast with a little Kate Spade for myself. Fluffy’s dress is from Hartstrings. The boys’ outfits are from Children’s Place. Kent’s wearing a Donald Trump tie. (Ew, Trump.) When there’s candy in the room, the tolerance for picture taking is not high.
3. Choosing music for the choir.
4. Preparing the choir including emails, private coachings, sectionals, rehearsals, personal conducting practice, donuts and orange juice.
5. Buying all the candy, books, DVD’s, bubbles and eggs for the Easter baskets and egg hunt. Making sure everybody has a roughly equal haul.
6. Taking the kids solo to some Jubilee Egg Roll thinger on Saturday.
7. Hair. So much hair to do. It’s the only thing that makes me glad I only have one girl. To be fair, both Fluffy’s and my hair looked much better when we went to church than it did after.
8. Decorating the house with the kids.
9. Dying 18 eggs with the kids.
10. Looking over recipes to determine what we should bring to the Easter feast.
11. Shopping for the rehearsal, multiple Seders and Easter party. Hunting down pomegranate molasses and 40 other items with three kids in Wegman’s/Safeway/Giant/Target on Easter weekend is actually the second hardest part of the whole affair surpassed in difficulty only by bathing and dressing the nation alone on Easter morning.
12. Making food for the party. Making and decorating the lamb cake. Later throwing away half the lamb cake so I will stop eating it.
13. Figuring out what we need for an Easter Seder.
14. Emailing asking for volunteers to help prepare and bring food. Coordinating who brings what and how much and to where and when.
15. Washing all the little bodies in the house as they scream like waterboarding victims.
16. Cleaning up all this crap. A feat I have yet to accomplish. Will I get it done before my students arrive today? Probably not.
I’ve doubtless left off another 15 steps that go into celebrating Easter. To be honest, it all turned out great. Even without the gloves and hats, I found my kids so beautiful on Easter they made my heart skip a beat more than once when I caught sight of them. Despite the tremendous difficulty of logistics and the sharpness with which I corrected pitch in the last rehearsal, the choir yet again gave their best rendition of the music ever in performance, and conducting/singing was the highlight of my Easter season. Even though my legs felt leaden by Easter afternoon, and I tried to get out of frosting the lamb cake (“You don’t really like the lambcake that much do you, Fluffy?” “I LOVE the lamb cake! It’s so cute!” “Dang.”), the Easter get-together was 100% pure enjoyment.
I keep thinking there’s got to be some magical way to make this all easier. I’ve tried simplifying. The year I was on bedrest, I had the world’s most simple Easter, and it was depressing beyond belief. I like a big to-do. When I look back over all that went into Easter and say what could I eliminate which was not worth the effort…I come up blank. My kids still believe in fairies, bunnies, and the magic of Easter. While that is the case, I’m willing to throw whatever energy I have in to spinning straw into gold for them.