Easter. Bunnies, egg hunts, and fresh flowers in bowls. And don't forget the grass - we planted grass seed in trays, then nestled little birds and speckled eggs in it. The hope of spring to come.
This year I even got a little crazy and made several kinds of flavoured butters for all the fresh bread we baked. It's easy: all you do is put some fresh herbs in the food processor (I used parsley, tarragon, and chives), add some chopped up bits of romano cheese (we prefer it to parmesan), and whiz it around until pasty. Then add some lemon rind, finely grated (microplane, anyone?), and some soft unsalted butter. It elevates fresh bread to a whole new level.
This year Max told us that he was "too old" for egg hunts. He's twelve. I've been waiting for something like this: the public acknowledgement of our pretend world. Cynicism seeping in. And, like most kids in this phase of life, he has to renounce that pretend world (for a while). As Richard puts it (loosely quoting CS Lewis): "he wants to grow up out of the nursery." So Max made his first foray. He slept in while the twins woke up bright and early (I'd had the foresight to tell them that if they started looking before 8am the eggs would all dissolve into nothingness and, cough cough, they believed me). He slept while the twins clattered and clanked and shrieked and banged and yelled and thumped and laughed and screeched around the house, finding all the plastic eggs someone had hidden around the house. He slept while Dominic told us, in a hushed voice, how he'd heard thumping noises and seen something large with long ears peeking in through his bedroom door. He slept while FDPG regaled us with visions of a large shadowy something thumping across the lawn around 3am. It was giggling, too.
When he finally woke up (not long after 8am; he was too excited even if his cynicism was temporarily in charge) he saw this. As my kids are wont to do, they sorted it all out on the floor. Even FDPG. Fortunately I had thrown away all their old Halloween candy the week before (found it lying in a closet, forgotten).
The twins shared with him, but not as generously as he'd hoped. "Snooze you lose!" FDPG told him, kindly. I could see the downside of the realities of renouncing the world of make-believe dawning.
Happy Easter, everyone, whatever your persuasion.