Fate (a wicked, spiteful, mean, hateful kind of fate) would have it that on Easter morning my camera died on me. Kaputz. At the time I thought maybe it was a battery or something I would be able to easily fix later, but as it turns out the fix was an unexpected upgrade to a new body (Camera body, that is. Still have the same ole post-pregnancy body I've been toting around the past two years, sadly). All that to say, these photos were taken on my phone, with the exception of the church ones who were taken by a church member who ministers to us all in a beautiful way through capturing images of the life of our church. I was extra grateful for Stephen Ball since I didn't get any shots of my own of Clara in this outfit (the first five photos are his, the rest are from my phone...):
So, the dress is new. It was handmade by Aunt Wendi and given to Clara for her birthday and it is precious and beautiful and dear. The coat and bonnet were mine though and I wore them (we think) in 1982. I forgot to ask my mom to look and see if she could find any photos of me in it, so you'll have to just take my word for it. My "Grandma" (paternal grandmother) bought it for me and even though it's a little dated, it's also totally timeless and I adore it. Clara looked perfect.
|That look says: "All these months, you've been keeping me from church.... you didn't tell me there were DOUGHNUTS!"
back in Sunday School and church with her buddies...
She slept so late that morning (post-beach trip exhaustion) that we didn't have a chance to open her Easter basket until after lunch and nap that day.
She went straight for the eggs, opened one, and then looked sadly at us and said, "No candy?!"
So, I need to know WHO TOLD THIS CHILD THAT EASTER EGGS ARE SUPPOSED TO HAVE CANDY?! I thought I could slip by at least one more year without participating in that holy and sacred ritual. I was wrong. Robert quickly went rummaging through the pantry to see what he could find to slip into her eggs....
The rest of the (candy free) basket appeared to be acceptable to her.
Lest we skip over the real meaning of Easter, let me say again that one way that Easter has changed for me is imagining a bit more clearly the pain that Mary felt when her son was crucified. I can't say I know or understand what that was like at all, because we didn't have to watch our child die. But we imagined it more vividly than we ever expected to and are thankful for the gift of life and resurrection in new and powerful ways because of it. It was hard this year to think about how to reduce the Easter story for a barely two-year old. How do you explain that complex and radical theology in any way that can begin to make sense for such a young child? And if the answer is "you can't," then how do you not gloss over the real meaning of a day that is most central to our understanding of faith and life? Y'all - Christmas is easier. Bring on the baby in a manger and some angels and shepherds, please.
What I found myself saying (and I know that even this is too complicated for a two year old who cannot yet handle metaphor or abstract thought, but it was the best I could do) to Clara was, "Thank you God that Jesus now lives in our hearts." Can I get an Amen?