I found this Easter to be filled with disappointments. I hate to say this because of course Easter is not about me. It’s about the resurrection of Jesus, and I do rejoice in that. But I found myself today, Easter Sunday, feeling really down about the whole thing.
To begin with, our plans to visit my husband’s family fell through when the kids and I were not feeling well on Good Friday, and we weren’t sure if it was the kind of thing that would get worse or better throughout the weekend. The kids were super crabby all morning as we finished packing and prepping to leave. It was one of those days when both kids are fussing at the same times, and it’s like they’re competing to be heard, so they cry extra loudly. The older one was whining and crying about the silliest, littlest things, so we knew something was up.
I decided I could handle the trip by early afternoon and the hubs figured we should at least give the trip a real shot before giving up. After changing both kids’ diapers about seventeen times in the hour before leaving, a bath became necessary for the older child (don’t ask). Thank the Lord we hadn’t left our house yet–dealing with that in a dingy gas-station bathroom would have been awful.
We finally got going three hours after we’d hoped to leave our house. The longest car ride we had taken the newborn on was an hour long each way, and on that return trip, he’d cried a LOT. So we weren’t too optimistic about a four-hour drive (which we knew could easily become six or more with two children). Sure enough, less than half an hour in, the little one burst out wailing. Since our first child was a remarkably good traveler, usually sleeping soundly until hungry, this second kid’s fussiness in the car is uncharted territory. After the stress of the morning, dealing with crying kids at home and packing our tiny car to bursting at the seams, we already felt as though we’d been traveling all day.
We turned around right away. Nope, not gonna attempt that long of a trip yet. Imagining dealing with sickness and crying and crabbiness in a tiny Vibe and then being a guest in someone else’s house on top of that was too much. (Illness is always a bit easier in your own home and your own bed.)
Anyway, some more disappointments: I feel like a lame-o mom with holidays so far. Case in point: Liam’s first birthday, we decided on a simple cookout with a few neighbor friends instead of a big themed party with all our relatives (no way all sides of the family could fit in our house for a party anyway, and no one lives locally). We ended up having to cancel even that casual gathering when Liam turned up sick that day. Score -1 in the mommy game. Other holidays–well, we have managed to get Liam’s picture with Santa both Christmases, so that’s a win. However, we didn’t even have a Christmas tree this year because he kept pulling the lights off. I never decorate for Valentine’s Day or Easter or St. Patrick’s or 4th of July. About all I do is maybe bake some cookies.
This Easter, I have not done a whole lot with creating traditions for our kids to cherish. We missed out on all the fun we could have had with Nate’s sisters and their families (they always do tons of cute crafts and treats and activities). We then found out about all the local Easter egg hunts about an hour too late. I didn’t buy presents or make up cutesy Easter baskets for the boys, nor did I dress them in matching pastel outfits. I didn’t hide plastic eggs with candy all over the house and yard for Liam to find first thing this morning.
The worst part was missing out on Easter worship services. The past few years, we’ve been absent for this Sunday anyway, since we’re usually visiting with relatives we rarely see. We don’t feel like missing out on the limited time we have to spend with loved ones just for the sake of visiting some random church. This year, for once, we were home, but now we have a six-week-old who is extremely fussy at times, usually including church times. So we couldn’t make services on Good Friday or Easter morning. I don’t see the point of going through all the hassle of getting all of us dressed and out the door only to spend the whole service hiding out in the foyer because the baby is crying. (Kudos to you parents who deal with the hassle anyway! I salute you.)
I was very grieved to not be present with the body of believers for worship today. I longed to sing along with the congregation my old familiar hymns, like “Christ the Lord is Risen Today”.
However, I learned a lesson today. The resurrection is not about me. Easter is not about the perfect Pinterest-y holiday filled with dozens of cutely-posed photo ops. I felt jealous as I scrolled my facebook news feed, seeing the parade of adorable children in coordinated ensembles, hunting for eggs, visiting the Easter bunny, and whatnot. But you know what? All the trappings of this holiday, as sweet and fun as they may be, do not make Easter what it is meant to be. If I can rejoice today in the fact that I am a sinner, filled with sinful thoughts, guilty of sinful actions, yet Christ died to bring me back to God, then that’s ALL that matters. I’m alive in Christ. He has risen, and one day I will rise with him.