Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Whatever-Today-Is-For-You

About an hour ago hubby came into the bedroom (where I was sitting on the bed drinking coffee and reading e-mail) and chatted with me as he got ready for work. William wandered in and stretched out on the end of the bed to pet and bother Rosie. The subject came up that none of us had remembered that today is Easter. Since no one had remembered (meaning specifically, I hadn't remembered - or rather, I'd remembered and then forgot again) no bunny had miraculously filled baskets or hidden colored eggs. If we had remembered to color eggs, which we did not.

Some of you might recall I'd blogged about the decision to do eggs and baskets on the equinox instead this year. Well, yeah. About that. It, uhm, didn't happen. We got busy with getting ready for our trip or something. I didn't get too upset about it because I figured I could always just do the baskets on Easter as always and aim for being more organized next year. No harm, no foul.

But instead I forgot completely. Laying on the bed with a "pretend snarling" Rosie trapped in his grasp William said "Yeah, if I was still a little kid and the Easter Bunny hadn't come, I'd be crying right now."

I replied "If you were still a little kid, the Easter Bunny wouldn't have forgotten to come."

That's the thing. He isn't a little kid. I don't have any little kids in my life that require me to remember or find time to be magical and take part in all the fun and ritual of things like a bunny who brings eggs. (why doesn't he bring carrots? or why isn't it a Easter Chicken who brings the eggs? - I know the historical hodge podge of symbolisms that led to this odd egg carrying rabbit but still, I'm just saying - it's odd what we don't question about things)

I don't have a religious affiliation that draws me in either. I do have spiritual beliefs that have all sorts of wonderful, fun, lovely, uplifting, awe-inspiring traditions and rituals associated with them (in fact that's my stock answer for why I'm a pagan - great holidays and lots more of them!). But since I'm solitary and eclectic, I'm not accountable to anyone but myself for following through with actually doing any of them.

For the first time ever, I'm no longer in a stage of my life where I have to make traditions happen. Some people go through this stage for awhile in their early adulthood. They leave home and don't bother with things like dying eggs or decorating a tree or dressing up as a ghost, unless maybe a care package arrives from Mom filled with jelly beans or candy corn. My mother was a great and true believer (or so she made it seem at the time because now she often misses or skips holidays) the importance of ritual and tradition. Because of her enthusiasm, I carried this into my early adulthood and continued to hang stockings and have egg hunts and dress up for trick-or-treat or wear green on St. Patrick's Day and all manner of unnecessary "tasks" even when the only person I was doing it for was ME.

The time when I carried over the traditions of my childhood for an audience of one (or two, after I was married) was followed by over two decades filled with children and I took my role as the Carrier of Traditions VERY SERIOUSLY. Except, I'm embarrassed to say, in my role as Tooth Fairy. I failed absolutely and dismally as a tooth fairy. "Oh dear, the tooth fairy must be having a busy week! Let's just leave it under your pillow a third night and I'm sure she'll visit you." Yeah. Ouch. Bad Mother! No Bon Bons! But I made up for it by being the Cartier, the DaVinci, the Martha Stewart of Holiday Traditions.

And let's be very clear that no matter who got the credit (Santa, Rabbit, Fairy...), I was the one doing all the work behind the scenes. Not that I'm begrudging this. I loved doing it. In fact I probably would have resented anyone butting into my territory. But as wondrous as the results were, it always required a lot of work to make it all happen.

The recent realization that I don't have any responsibility to make traditions happen (well, not as many of them anyway) and I can't always dredge up the enthusiasm to follow through properly (or at all) in creating them any longer fills me with bittersweet feelings. On one hand it's sort of freeing. On the other hand I miss those times and wish I still had an excuse to create days that were lifted out of the ordinary routine.

I talked with my daughter-in-law Lisa on the phone a while ago. She hadn't planned on doing much special for Easter this year. She said they didn't have the money and Joli was too young to remember it anyway. This surprised me because one of the things I love about her is that she, like me, lets her inner child out to play a lot. I had expected her do something for Joli's first Easter. (Although, now that I think about it, many of the traditions I take for granted that we did every year were actually discovered and created slowly over time and changed or morphed into new traditions from time to time.)

I had responded that Joli wasn't too young and she could take pictures for her to remember it from. I brought down a basket and some goodies to put in it and bought eggs so it wouldn't be a financial burden for them. It turned out that her family came for Easter and the other grandma also brought a basket full of goodies. Lisa said they were about to color eggs. And dinner plans were in the works. So, they are having a nice Easter after all. And even though I'm over 600 miles away, I felt better for knowing that. It makes me happy.

I think I will rally this evening. I suggested coloring eggs to William and he thought that sounded like fun. And Jeff just called from work to ask if the bunny might still manage to visit tonight. (He doesn't know I already bought some goodies and hid them in the closet). Maybe I'll even whip up some sort of holiday dinner tonight. Hmmm. Or not. Let's not get too carried away.

Maybe my family still needs me to make a little magic now and again, even if it's not up to Martha's standards. That makes me happy too.


Post a Comment

<< Home