Here I am behind on the A to Z Challenge again. It's okay. At least I am doing it, right? I can't help but think, though, that I was meant to wait for E until today. After all, it is Easter, right? Some of my favorite memories are from our Easters when I was a child.
Mom was a church organist. That meant she had to get up at some God awful hour to go play the organ at a sunrise service. And she left Dad to get us ready for church. Sometimes she would actually have time to come home and get us. As usual, after our 9 o'clock service, Grandma would come to pick us up. Mom always had to play for the 11 o'clock service, which was geared strictly toward adults. Dad was usually at home sleeping in from sponsoring his AA buddies the night before.
Sometimes Dad would join us over at Grandma's for a special Easter brunch. Other times, we would all reconvene later in the day. But no matter what, when we pulled into our driveway, we were always greeted with a special note from the Easter Bunny on our door. We had to follow his instructions to the letter. They often included hanging up our coats in the closet (the only time we would do so) and then running straight back to our bedrooms. Waiting for us was often some small doll or stuffed animal and our empty Easter baskets. There would be another clue sitting on the pillow. We were directed in all kinds of strange patterns throughout the house, into the store, outside in the yard via these little clues printed in brown felt tip pen on index cards.
Some of the clues were straightforward. Some of them were riddles that we had to decipher. We probably spent at least an hour wandering around our little apartment, seeking the little bit of candy and all of those hard-boiled eggs that we colored. I never ate the eggs. I hated the Peeps. I enjoyed the jellybeans, which came from our school's annual fundraiser. My favorites were (and still are) the Cadbury Eggs. Those were few and far between, though. I had to knock my sister out of the way should I spot one. We didn't get much, but we were grateful for what we had. In fact, I didn't realize until I was an adult how little those Easter baskets actually were. I still have mine and use it in my classroom at this time of year.
I always remember thinking how ironic it was that the Easter Bunny had the same handwriting as my mother. Santa Claus had the same handwriting as Dad. When my sister and I had finally outgrown the Easter hunt, I often asked my parents how they pulled that off every year. Mom would always insist, "I don't know what you're talking about. The Easter Bunny did it." Dad would just shrug.
When I hit adulthood and the prospect of having children finally cropped up, I asked again. Mom finally said that when I had my own children, she would share her secrets.
Unfortunately, life doesn't always work out the way we have planned. I do not have any of my own children, for a multitude of reasons both in and out of my control. And Mom no longer has any recollection of our Easter Egg hunts. Somehow, I am okay with that. It keeps the magic alive for me, even as a grown adult.