It’s that time of year again when as Christians we ignore the truly religious traditions of Easter, specifically Passover, and instead embrace the pagan rituals of Spring. We ignore the rites of Christ’s last supper and instead gleefully pursue the pagan traditions of egg-hunting and large rabbits. But hey, who am I to be the party-pooper?
I found myself in the difficult position of having to explain the Easter bunny to Lucy this year. I didn’t realize how ill-prepared I was for the inquisition-like questioning I received. “Does he come INTO the house? How does he get in? How does he carry the toys and eggs? Does he REALLY hop?” It suddenly occurred to me that the Easter bunny is a very strange thing. We’re telling children that a giant rabbit exists and that while you are asleep, when you are your most vulnerable he is going to come hopping into your house and leave you toys and eggs. But why? Why would he do this? Wouldn’t he leave a mess? Honestly, I don’t know how my parents managed to keep the myth alive for so long.
This was Max’s first year to dye eggs and really the only thing that mattered to him was pouring all the dye into one cup which made all the eggs a lovely brown color. Lucy liked the idea of different colored eggs but not the idea of using a spoon or the ridiculous tiny wire holder thingy that every dye-kit known to man comes with. As a result, she used her hands. I instantly realized why young girls used to wear white gloves to Easter church service — it was to cover up the purpled-dyed hands underneath.
In a couple of weeks we will be celebrating Passover. Unfortunately Easter is a tough act to follow, especially if you are a holiday that is completely based on a really long, ritualistic dinner that includes a variety of strange foods that no 4 year old would ever eat and absolutely no chocolate eggs. Oh well, I guess that answers the question why the Christians kept the pagan rituals and not the Jewish ones.
David has never been what you might call a “traditional romantic”. He does romantic things, it is just that they wouldn’t seem romantic to anybody else outside of our own little world. David has been working a lot of hours lately and so in order to show me his love and appreciation for me “holding down the fort” he bought me an iPhone this weekend. The gift-giving went something like this:
Me: You bought me an iPhone? But..
David: I know, I don’t want you to worry about the money
Me: Really? you think this is a good purchase?
David: Listen, the only thing I like talking about more than work is my iPhone and anything that can help us stay connected and share is priceless.
Me: I love you.
I have to admit – I LOVE it! I have spent the last twelve hours updating and tweeking and making it my own. I’m sure you will hear more about my new delightful companion in posts to come. In the meantime, thanks babe – you rock!
Me: What is your daddy like?
Lucy: He’s black.
Lucy: His t-shirts are black.
Me: Oh, what else can you tell me about daddy?
Lucy: He’s round.
Max received two Melissa & Doug tool boxes for Christmas this year. At first I thought what would we do with 2 tool boxes but they have ended up being favorites at our house. I love Melissa & Doug toys. They are all wood and ingeniously made. At any rate, Max loves these tool boxes and the kids look too cute marching through the house like they are on their way to fix the plumbing or repair the roof.
One of the main reasons for going to Sea World was so Lucy could ride her first roller coaster. Since Lucy was only 2 yrs old she has always wanted to ride in the car with the windows down chanting “faster mommy, faster!” I’ve suspected from early on that she was going to be my “dare-devil”. I find this to be odd since even the thought of roller coasters makes both David and I turn weak in the knees and want to vomit. As a matter of fact nobody in either family likes roller coasters so this must be an alien gene that has emerged.
David took Lucy on the tamest adult log-ride in the park and she LOVED it. The joy of this experience was quickly diminished when we explained to her that she was just too small to ride the “Electric Eel”. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that it probably won’t be until she’s 16 and can convince a boy to ride with her that she will ever get on the Electric Eel since both her father and I would rather have our finger nails ripped off than face the stomach lurching experience of an actual adult roller coaster.
My Dad flew down from Michigan to San Antonio this weekend to stay at my sister’s house. (it’s a long story why he was there, but just so you know it involved my sister and her husband in wet suits in the Bahamas). We decided to take advantage of this rare event and take the kids and my dad to Sea World. After David and I sold off any unnecessary organs to pay for the tickets (and oh, parking? that will be 1 kidney please. A glass of water? that will cost you an eyeball), we packed up the double-wide stroller and hit the park.
It was a glorious day in Texas. It was one of those beautiful spring days where you start off wearing a light-weight sweater and by noon you are in shorts and flip-flops. These are the days that I’m glad I live here and not in Michigan where you would start the day at “freeze your lips off cold” and end it with “my eyelids are frozen open” cold.
After a brief crisis at the beginning of the day when Lucy burst into tears because “I can’t look up mommy! The Sun is too bright” and an emergency purchase of $12 sunglasses, we fed the dolphins, saw the Clydesdale horses, caught a show and then stopped for lunch. So far everybody was holding up well and having a good time.
There is a climbing playground for smaller children in the middle of the park and I thought after lunch it might be a good time to let the kids run around. This park is similar to the play areas you would see at McDonald’s but about 50 times larger. Max and I got to the top of the rope wall and he climbed into the first mesh tube. He was doing great. He crawled all the way through the first tube and started into the second one. When a bunch of older kids came through, knocked him down and he started to cry. He got confused and couldn’t find his way out. I began shouting to him, but he could neither see me nor hear me. At this point I sent David in after him. I realize I should have been worried about my child, but honestly it was funny. David gets through the first tube and rolls out on to the ground. I start laughing and then I see it. A strange woman picks up Max and shoves him into the next tube and then she follows after him.
I stopped laughing.
I scream to David that he needs to hurry that somebody has taken Max and placed him into the next tube. David, unable to see either Max or the woman is confused. Although I can still see both of them the woman is ignoring my screams for her to stop. David is trying to move as quickly as he can but this woman is making good time pushing Max through the series of rope ladders and tubes and there is no way David can keep up with her. And all I can see is my child moving further and further away from me and nobody stopping this person. My heart stopped, I don’t even think I was breathing at this point. I felt like this was all a dream and could not possibly be real. I realize that she is getting close to the end of this maze and I run down the rope wall and run over to the exit. As I get there she is emerging with Max under her arm – he is screaming. I run up and grab him from her and she says to me “He is too young to be in this playground by himself”. I say nothing and leave.
It was only hours later that I began to think of all the things I SHOULD have said to that woman. Things like “keep your hands off my child” or “He wasn’t alone and if you had just taken a moment to look” or “My husband has been chasing you for the last fifteen minutes” or “do you always pick up random children” or “I’m going to kick your ass” or “I know kung fu and you are about to find out”. I don’t know – it just seemed like surely I should have said something.
Sometimes the things that are truly important to you become very clear, very quickly and there are no words to express that. There was nothing to say to that woman because for that moment she held my entire life in her hands and all I wanted was for her to ever so gently and quickly hand it back to me.
I spent the majority of my childhood in Ohio and Michigan. This meant many magical mornings when I woke up to a fresh blanket of snow and the news that school was canceled. This inevitably lead to a day of sledding, outdoor play, hot chocolate and collapsing out of exhaustion and too much fresh air at the end of the day. Since having kids I have been sad that this is an experience that my children won’t ever have.
I love living in Texas and although I’m glad I don’t have to deal with snow on a regular basis I do miss it. I miss frosty mornings and spending days baking cookies, bread and big roasts. I miss the beauty of ice-covered trees and how bright and clean things look after a fresh snow. I miss the utter and complete silence that only snow can bring. The kind of silence that makes you think of heaven. But above all else I wish my kids could have those same experiences.
This morning we woke up to about 2 inches of snow in Dallas. This is pretty unusual. So, when Lucy wandered into our bedroom at 7:00 a.m. I told her to go look outside. She ran to the window and exclaimed “There are snowflakes on the ground!!!” and then instantly ran to wake Max. It was a rather wet snow that had all the markings of not lasting very long and would quickly disappear underneath the morning sun. I jumped out of bed, grabbed the kids coats, shoes and mittens and got them covered up over their PJ’s and shoved them out the door. This may not be 3 feet of snow but they could have a taste of the wonders I experienced as a child. They didn’t quite know what to do with the white stuff and why was it in THEIR backyard? It all just didn’t make any sense. Well, we made snowballs, and threw snow at each other for about two hours. They came in with wet pajamas, and cold noses. It was glorious.
I cleaned my house today. I realize this doesn’t sound like something that should be noteworthy but this is actually a task I don’t do very often. As part of our key to marital bliss David and I have employed somebody who comes twice a month to mop our floors, clean our sinks and vacuum. This way when David spits toothpaste in the sink, or the kids spill juice on the floor several hours of glaring at each other doesn’t occur. It’s amazing how quickly an argument can erupt over toothpaste in the sink.
However, this month our “somebody” couldn’t make it and instead of spending the $60 and having to go through the pre-clean ritual that occurs prior to the cleaning lady coming (a ritual that only other women can understand) I thought I’d do it myself. I sprang out of bed this morning excited about the idea that for once my house would be cleaned the “right” way. After all, nobody can really clean your house like YOU can. (another idea that only women can understand). However, I quickly discovered that I no longer had any cleaning supplies. It had been so long since I had been forced to do this chore myself that I didn’t have toilet cleaner, bathroom cleanser or even a bottle of Pinesol to mop the floors. The kids and I made a mad dash to the store and stocked up. What I discovered at the store is sure to be life-altering.
I have three words for you; CLOROX TOILET WAND. That’s right – a wand for the toilet. It is truly a magical item. A clean-freak’s dream. You have a wand that you snap into an already soapy scrub pad. When the pad touches water the soap is activated and you can begin cleaning your “bowl”. When finished you push a button and the pad pops off into the garbage can. No longer do you need to touch the brush, clean the brush, wait for the brush to dry.
All I can say is that the fact that I find a toilet cleaning device “blog-worthy” is truly a depressing commentary on my life.