Easters from my childhood were magical... Frilly dresses, brand new white patent leather shoes, Easter egg hunts at church, coloring eggs with Mom and Dad and the virtual cornucopia of treats encased in our colorful baskets.
My mom always saw to it that our Easter outfits were very special. I think she dressed me up more at Easter than at any other holiday because she was tired of the dark dungarees, corduroys and sweaters of our Michigan winter. I think, too, that this was her way of saying goodbye to the dregs of winter and that she welcomed dressing us in Easter finery as much as the sighting a robin as the first harbinger of spring.
My Easter dresses were nothing short of pastel colored confection...lace and satin, festooned with embroidery and donned over slips with layers of foamy crinoline. Paired with lacy tights or frilly cuffed anklets, I'm sure she felt I was a dainty and darling vision to behold. It usually didn't end at the dress...I was ceremoniously fitted with a beribboned straw hat and lovely white patent leather shoes that had honest-to-gosh buckles...this was long before the days of Velcro.
I'm sure I did look like the little Easter Princess...for about 5 minutes. As I've previously related, I was a somewhat precocious child and full of youthful exuberance. After I was dressed, poofed, “spray-netted” and perfumed, I was told to go sit on the Duncan Phyfe sofa (remember, all of our furniture had names) in the living room (the room we only used for “short-term” guests…insurance agents and ministers) and told, "DO NOT MOVE until it we come & get you to go." I sat there for several minutes...drawing magical things on the floor with my toes, playing imaginary cat's cradle with my fingers, then swinging my feet or soundlessly whistling to myself (I didn't attain that talent until my late adolescence).
During this particular Easter, while dutifully sitting and waiting, I was startled by the sound of something behind the sofa. No, really, I am sure I HEARD SOMETHING behind the sofa! I reasoned that it was probably that elusive Easter Bunny, hiding just one more present for us. We weren't allowed to delve into our Easter Baskets until after we returned home from church...another rule I believe was established with the intention of keeping us in pristine condition until after the folks were able to proudly display us to the congregation. I thought that it couldn't possibly hurt for me to sneak a peek behind the sofa...since I was technically still ON THE SOFA. I inched around backward...keeping one eye on the living room door, just in case my parents didn't share my theory on couch sitting. My little hands grasped the carved walnut frame of the sofa and I surreptitiously peeked behind. From this angle, I could see nothing but wall, but the sounds grew a bit louder... Maybe if I just got up on my knees and stretched over the back between the frame and the wall, I could get a better look. Nope. Well, I reasoned, since I'm already kneeling, it wouldn't hurt if I just stand up and bend way over the back of the couch...then I can tell my brother & sister that I finally got to see the bunny himself!
Realizing that I had my new shoes on and that you never, EVER put your shoes on the couch, it only took a second to divest myself of my shoes and place them neatly on the stack of Architectural Digests sitting on coffee table…it wouldn’t do to scratch the table, either. Never mind the shoe buckle that got caught in my tights as I crossed my legs to remove them...Mom will be so proud that I remembered NOT to put them on the sofa. I only paused a second or two to pull at the offending snag caused by that buckle...stretching it until it became uncomfortably tight around my little thigh, finally breaking it off and stuffing it into my pocket for mom to "fix" later.
I can only relate what I've been told as to the sight my parents beheld when they came to fetch me from my protected domain... Here was their eldest daughter (or at least the bottom half of her) protruding upside down from the back of the sofa...her dress spilling down over her mid-section (keeping my dress down was a problem with which I was gifted early...and reminded to remedy often). The aforementioned snag had reduced the left leg of my tights to a floppy disassociated anklet, while the upper portion had "wedged" itself you-know-where. My parents tell me that I was loudly fussing at some unseen antagonist..."AWWWWW! I'm tellin'! You weren't supposed to get that until after church! Wait until Mom & Dad find out! You're gonna get it!"
You see, rather than finding the Easter Bunny, as I'd hoped, what I found was my 3 year old little brother, dressed in his little blue seer-sucker sailor suit with about half a giant chocolate rabbit smeared across his face, hands and knees; a multitude of the sticky clear centers of partially eaten jelly beans scattered about him on the floor and all of their former colors permanently staining his previously immaculate suit front.
The next thing I remember is being unceremoniously snatched from my perch and what followed can only be described as the first official "reading of the riot act" that I can remember. I kept trying to inform them of my brother's indiscretion, but they didn't seem to find the information of immediate import. If I remember correctly, when they ran out of breath, they moved the couch, grabbed up my brother and rushed upstairs to begin restoration of his formerly precious appearance.
For what seemed like an interminable amount of time, I sat there on the couch, hiccupping my resentment of little brothers and mentally concocting evil way of dispatching him to the netherworld. I then remembered that the last I saw of him was a glimpse of his rear end, smeared quite nicely with a half-eaten Easter grass embedded "Peep" and thinking…”Ohmigosh! He ate so much Easter candy that he “pooped Peeps!” It’s hard to stay mad when you’re six years old and rolling on the floor laughing and thinking that you’ve just discovered retribution….that is, until your parents come to investigate and they loudly point out that you’ve just rolled all over a chunk of your brother’s chocolate rabbit in your own Easter outfit.
Is it any wonder that Tigers eat their young???
Happy Easter everyone!!!
So Dear 2 My Heart
We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.