Last Easter with the family for awhile...

Family life is often filled with traditions, the traditions we created for our children when they were young, that we adapted as they matured and those that we've rekindled for their children, our six grandchildren, years later. 

The comfort and familiarity of reenacting holiday traditions each year filled Tom and I with guarded anticipation. Over these past years, we have come to accept, although at times painfully so, that our adult children have the right to build their own traditions that may at times, not include us.  

We recall the struggle and often times, the guilt we felt when the first Christmas morning came when we chose to stay home as opposed to going to our parent's homes. We wanted to savor Santa's bounty with our own children, their eyes wide with delight as they anxiously ripped open package after package, them in their cartoon character pajamas, us with big coffee mugs warming our hands, all with the ease and comfort of spending this special time cozy at home.

And now, as their families have grown, their own traditions firmly rooted in their lives, in their own homes, we especially find ourselves reeling with the anticipation of all of them breaking away to spend a special time with us once again, this Easter Sunday.

Practically dancing on my tiptoes, around our ten foot long dining room table, my arms laden with gifts of every variety, candies carefully selected for special diets and preferences, I gleefully fill the 17 Easter baskets (including four pet baskets).  I swap out one Thomas toy train for a Transformer truck from one basket to another, stepping back, visualizing the correctness of my decision and smile.  Each year, we always say, "this is the best year yet."  And it is.

Oh, good grief!  I'd better improve my photo taking skills before we leave!
The meaning of Easter is not lost on our abundance of baskets, the colored eggs, the homemade bunny rabbit cake, the carefully planned and executed brunch and of course, the painstakingly thought out game and Easter egg hunt. No, it's not lost.  It's for forgiveness.  It's for thankfulness and... most of all, it's for love.

This year is no different, the traditions are all here, the pile of fuzzy bunny rabbit ears everyone will place on their heads when they enter the door, the laughter over the rambunctious silly games, the glee in the little ones voices when they discover yet another plastic egg filled with candy, a small toy or a dollar bill.  Its all the same. Its all predictable. Laughter fills the air.  Its all heartwarming.

Tom and I will look at each other from across the room, our faces hurting from too much smiling, our eyes glistening from too many tears, as we enjoy this last Easter tradition, knowing full well that we and they... will be building new traditions in the time to come.


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