When I was a kid my entire family would pile into Grandma and Grandpa's tiny house in the Ozarks for every single holiday. The kids would run and holler up and down the small hallway and scream while running through the woods. After Christmas, Easter was my favorite holiday because it was the only day on which I had a divine right to eat an obscene amount of candy without fear of punishment from my parents. Chocolate rabbits are the childhood meth rock and after we all got tweaked up we'd trample Grandma's front yard, her daffodils, and every living thing in sight as we searched for eggs.
After they passed away we stopped going to the Ozarks. The family unit split apart due to infighting and betrayal, and it's all just a very depressing story. Besides a good character and virtues and all of that, I wanted to raise up my children to know the same sort of large, loud family with which I grew up. They got a little bit of that this past Sunday and for the first time in six years I had a holiday (aside from last Christmas at my aunt's house) that felt a little bit more like "home."
After the boys decorated their plastic eggs with stickers, I stayed up late the night before and filled them with candy and loose change. I ran out about a third of the way through and left the rest of them empty. The next day the kids littered Chris's mom's front yard with the empty eggs and I was all "What about the THRILL OF THE HUNT? Back in MY day ..." and then I realized how incredibly old I sounded. So, eggs = FAIL.
My mother enjoys the tradition she created of buying the boys' Easter outfits
each year; this year Paw-Paw bought them and Ewan did not want to take his dress shoes off. He kept talking about how fancy they were except he said fancy with three syllables and somewhere up in Heaven my Grandma smiled.
The grandparental units insist on getting the kids chocolate rabbits and Chris's mother surprised them with an actual pirate's chest she made herself filled with chocolate coins, costume jewelry, a parrot puppet, and tons of other things. "I love pirates and Easter!" Liam exclaimed.
Just as I trampled all over my grandmother's yard, so did the boys trample all over their grandmother's yard. They had the best time climbing the hills, chasing each other, sharing candy, and trying to bust our ear drums. I watched them run around, remembering how much fun it used to be and I realized that I wasn't one of "the grandkids" anymore; I was one of "the kids." We're all slowly marching up a giant, generational staircase towards the only thing certain besides taxes. In the spirit of Easter, we'll all be together again after, someday.
See the entire photo set here