Have you ever tried to explain Easter to a three year old? Whether you try to explain the holiday in the commercial sense—a magical bunny comes around and leaves chocolate covered eggs for us—or in a biblical sense—a man died and was nailed to a cross because you‘ve been bad (!!)—the holiday isn’t an easy one to explain to a young child with an innocent sense of wonder. Don and I ended up taking a pagan approach to the day, and told Nyana that we were celebrating all the animals who make babies in the spring, and that because the bunnies make the most babies of all (again, !!), it’s an Easter Bunny who brings us chocolate to celebrate, because who doesn’t want to celebrate with chocolate?
The Easter Bunny arrived at our house right on schedule, and had a plethora of foil-wrapped eggs for Nyana and Fred to discover when they awoke on Sunday morning. It took them a bit longer to find everything than we’d anticipated—we really needed to coax Nyana into searching some of the more obscure spots—but half an hour after waking up, both Ny and Fred were well on their way to a sugar high.
Once we were done with our egg hunt, we cleaned the kids up and loaded them in Yellow Car, over the bridge to see my grandparents in White Rock. I had heard rumours that the Easter Bunny had shown up at their house as well, and with my Granddad being diabetic, they needed some help cleaning up the chocolate. My Gran had painted hardboiled eggs (with acrylic paint, bless her heart) and hidden them in the yard, and after the kids finished their second egg hunt of the day, we sat down to an Easter brunch.
My grandparents made our decision to move to Ontario difficult. Both in their eighties, though relatively healthy, I know I don’t have a lot of time with them left. More so, I know my kids don’t have much time with their great-Grands. I know that I should (and do!) feel so blessed that my kids will have these memories of their Gran and Bubs, but I feel like I’m betraying family somehow, like I have to give up my BC family to gain an Ontario one. We left our visit with a promise to visit more frequently over the next hundred days, and to install Skype on my Granddad’s computer before we leave the province.
The rest of the day was full of non-naps and roasted leg of lamb and more chocolate than any 30-pound human should consume. I find myself pondering these holidays, pausing to remember and reflect on the same holidays from my childhood thirty years ago, and wondering what Nyana and Freddie will remember. I look at photos of myself sitting in my own Great Grandmother’s living room, I feel a pang of sadness that I don’t remember the moment captured on film, and I wonder whether I’ve done enough, as we prepare to say goodbye forever, to imprint a permanent memory of her own great-Grands in Nyana’s mind. I sure hope so. They’re a lot of fun.