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Easter Memories

We had one of the best Easter Days in a long time this year.  Maya let me sleep in until 6:34 am and then accepted a bagel, a blanket and a promise that we would check for the Easter Bunny in about an hour.  I even got that hour before both kids landed on the bed demanding that an immediate search for Easter loot be launched.  My wife, never a morning person except where presents are concerned, uncomplainingly left the bed and directed the search.  I worked magic at the Keurig and then later in the kitchen.  Milo finally got the pancakes he’d been craving.  We went as a family to the gym and swam in the pool.  After the gym, we discovered a new restaurant, ate a meal that could actually be considered adult and then enjoyed an orgy of Dancing with the Stars.  Overall, such a great day.

I was reflecting tonight about how Easter was when I was young.  My sister and I bolting down the stairs fearful that the dog had eaten all of the chocolates.  Discovering that the Easter Bunny had left the traditional pairs of rubber boots and raincoats for both of us.  Getting dressed in brand new clothes and going to church.  Sometimes even risking the foundations of the building by bringing my dad along with us.  In my teens, serving as an altar boy sometimes at as many as 3 services.  Finally getting home around noon for a small meal and then waiting for the hordes of family to arrive.  Loud aunts, gruff uncles, cousins you liked, cousins you hated, grandparents laden with treats and extended family too.  Battles would be fought and won, wounds licked and ripped open, in short, a family affair.  And food… there would be so much food that you knew what you’d be eating for the next week even before the first mouth full.  I’m certain that my love of food comes from how eating together was such an important part of being together as a family.

Things change.  Time moves on.  Traditions grow.  Still family at the centre of celebration.

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The Easter Bunny Lives in Barrie: Travel Log 1

We went to visit my sister and her family for the Easter Weekend.  The odd thing is that we did it knowing that with everyone coming, the adults would be outnumbered 7 to 5 by the kids.  The little beasts ages ranged from 13 down to Maya who is five.  Girl to boy ratio was 4 to 3.  The actual bed spaces to persons ratio was 6 spaces to 12 persons, so the kids had to sleep on the floor in a pile of blankets and pillows much like a litter of puppies.  Oh well, more’s the fun.

Now it is 2 hours to Barrie which should be a dream trip compared to going to my mom’s place which is a staggering 5 hour marathon of pain and despair.  I figured that we were on the right track as we left.  Both I-Pods were fully charged, Milo had his headphones, stuffed animals and blankets were available and I had taken, confirmed and reconfirmed the Tim Horton’s orders for breakfast prior to leaving the driveway. I was smart enough not to comment aloud or even think to myself that things looked promising.  Why tempt the universe?

Tim Horton’s (a donut/coffee shop dominant in Canada) is less than 5 minutes away.  After handing out the bagels and drinks to everyone, my shining outlook began to falter.  I had previously been unaware that it was a form of child abuse to provide a bagel to Maya where the top and bottom halves were placed back together like a cream cheese sandwich.  Nor was I aware that to suggest to a five year old that they could take one hand and lift the top half of the bagel from the bottom half was akin to asking her to compose War and Peace while hopping on one foot whistling “When the Saints go Marching In.”  I was educated appropriately, I assure you.

Suitable chastened, we made it to the highway while bagels were consumed in a more or less quiet but more and more messy fashion.  That’s ok, when I drive I only look forward.  As the amusement of breakfast wore off, I suggested a traveling game that has worked for me in the past.  Each occupant of the vehicle was to look out the windows and search for orange cars.  There is a scarcity of them in Ontario so it requires a certain concentration and vigilance.  I’ve made the game non-competitive as the player needs to show the car to the others and no points are awarded.  I’d not counted on the fact that Milo looks forward out the front window to search out cars.  Maya on the other hand, looks out her window as exactly 90 degrees to the path of travel.  Suffice to say, Milo has an advantage.  The perception of how unfair his advantage was became clear to me as the volume of protest rose and rose and rose and rose.  The game was called on account of driver deafness.

I’m sure that there were other challenging moments in the car, but I’ve blocked them from my memory.  God only knows how pioneers ever made those months long treks in covered wagons.  I’d have strapped the kids to the oxen and left them to the elements.

There will be more stories of Easter Weekend forthcoming.