When I was a kid, Easter was a big deal. It was the Prom of childhood, but instead of a limo we traveled in a wood-paneled minivan, and instead of a date I had to hold my brother’s hand. Every year, we took awkward family photos in front of the fireplace, always featuring one of us with our eyes closed, my dad cropped above the eyebrows, and my mom talking mid-sentence.
We were magnificent.
Leading up to Easter, my sister and I would pick out dresses highlighting the quintessential celebration materials: lace, tulle, and floral print. A combination of the three was an Easter miracle. If the dress also came with a matching hat and/or gloves, we understood that Shekinah glory itself had manifested in JC Penney’s.
The night before the big day, my sister and I would sleep in hair rollers and wake up early on Sunday to unwind our ringlets and saturate them in Aqua Net. For this holiday, it was essential to have a teased explosion of bangs above the forehead. No face could celebrate the resurrection without them. My mom would also put hair gel in my younger brother’s curly blonde mullet. I like to think this is why I resentfully held his hand on Easter, because even back then I knew it was in poor taste to hold hands with a gentleman in a mullet.
As a kid, I thought that on Easter God made a special exception to the 24-hour limit on one day. I don’t know how this was possible, but I’m positive that we spent at least 39 hours of Easter Sunday at church. As a family, we arrived to church in the negative space of pre-morning and then participated in the children’s choir performance, the tambourine ensemble, the sermon illustration, the altar call, the community pot luck, the Easter Egg Hunt, and the cake cutting until one or all of us blacked out face down in a sanctuary pew.
Every year, I tore my tights at the knees, and I remember this being extremely upsetting.
This year is different and the same. I have a fully loaded bottle of hair spray and am on the hunt for a dress that accurately depicts my Easter enthusiasm. Also, the limited arm-reach of a selfie family photo will inevitably cut off Mike’s head above the eyebrows. One of the grandmas already bought baby girl an Easter dress of glory. It comes fully loaded with matching shoes, socks, and, I kid you not, an embroidered baby bonnet.
Believe me, you are going to want this on your insta-feed this weekend.
We will spend the entire weekend at our local church, extending the hours in one day and surviving on jelly beans, granola bars, and lukewarm Starbucks left neglected for too long. We will get sunburned at the Easter Egg Hunt and we will arrive at church on Sunday in the negative space of pre-morning. We will be so very tired and baby girl will probably poop through no less than 10 carefully coordinated outfits. I’m positive she will find a way to poop in her bonnet.
But we will celebrate. We will make an occasion out of the death and resurrection that changed my life forever.
It must bring God the Father so much joy to watch this once-a-year homecoming, the one Sunday that all of his kids come together to celebrate the day they were all adopted into the same family.
I love Easter because it is a family event, both natural and spiritual.
I love that one day my daughter will look back at the awkward photo we take this Sunday and she will call it magnificent. She will probably call her outfit ridiculous and also wonder what Mike’s hair looked like since his head didn’t make it into the family photo.
This will not be the last year she accidentally destroys an Easter outfit or is forced to pose for too many photos. Baby girl will absolutely fall asleep at church this Sunday and at many more Sundays to come.
But she will remember this family day, the grand occasion worth celebrating for 39 straight hours of one full resurrection day.
We celebrate as a family on our adoption day.
We celebrate hard on Easter.
Click here to read last year’s Easter post.