When I was five, I loved Easter. Easter meant wearing that dressy explosion of peach froth and lace from JC Penney’s and taking pictures in front of the flowering plum tree in our front yard. It always rained right before Easter, so my black, polished Mary Janes didn’t stay pretty for long, sinking into the muddy grass like I stood upon the mouth of a great, invisible bog. I felt particularly adult because Mom let me borrow a white purse to carry to church. I never had anything to put in it, so it contained two crayons, a sticker, and my lucky rock that I beat up Billy G for back at kindergarten.
I had a picture of me in my Easter finery standing next to my then-next-door-neighbor, Rachel. We both thought ourselves very fancy and adult, but our grins were dotted with missing teeth and trusting faces. I don’t have that picture any more, since it burned in the fire, but it’s okay. I know exactly what I look like. I remember in one of the photos, I closed my eyes for the flash. In the corner, it said that it was 1988.
I never associated the Easter of egg hunts and fancy dresses with Jesus’s Resurrection. I think I thought that they just happened to have happened on the same day. I knew that I hated that my Easter festivities were cut short because the church service lasted twice as long, but there was usually a luncheon afterward: devilled eggs, Coca-Cola ham, potato salad, sweet tea, and pink cupcakes with jellybeans on top. During the sermon I dreamed of those cupcakes that were fat and covered with icing, and generally ignored the increasingly bloody images of the martyred Son of God.
I’ve gotten even less religious as time went on. Easter yesterday consisted of me staying in pajamas all day and playing Plague Inc. on my iPad (I’ve gotten really good at destroying humanity with bacteria). I ate seven cookies. I then felt terrible for eating seven cookies and worked out until my thighs went numb. Matthew was sick with seizures all day so we skipped having Easter feast and opted for greasy carton Chinese instead. Not an upgrade. On the whole, it was a dreary holiday. The highlight was probably fighting with the Church of God members who parked in our driveway (our house is literally in the yard of a Church of God. Or maybe the Church of God is in our yard. Whichever. They blocked us in).
We have a date for moving into the rebuilt house: April 22nd. Now taking bets as to whether we make it then or not. Has spring sprung? Is this my new beginning?