Today was not a holiday for us. I celebrated Easter as a child growing up. While my mom was married to her second husband, we went to a Baptist church–we were born-again Christians, or rather I was as born-again as one can be at the age of eight. Every Easter until I was twelve, I donned my new Easter dress, and we had egg hunts and baskets full of goodies. There was inevitably some big family dinner. It was a minor holiday to me, but it wasn’t altogether unpleasant (although I was never crazy about the church services around Easter).
When my mom remarried–this time a Buddhist–we stopped going to church, did away with the Easter finery, and instead celebrated with our immediate family. We still dyed eggs and hunted for them, and we still had our Easter baskets full of goodies. My mom loved the tradition of it, so even as a teenager, I went along with it. But then I went away to college, and decided I was pagan, and from there, I wasn’t interested in Easter anymore. I remember my mom asking if I celebrated Easter anymore, and I felt so grown-up and independent to be able to tell her I didn’t.
And since then, this day has gone by without much of any recognition. I have long liked the idea of Ostara, but then I tend to like the holidays closer in their more pagan forms. Celebrating the coming of spring, of new life, of flowers and new green and sun and fertility, makes sense to me. Still, we don’t really do anything this time of year.
Enter Baby Genius. Having a child changes how one looks at everything, and especially holidays. We have to decide at some point whether or not there is an Easter bunny or a Santa Claus, whether we celebrate Easter or Ostara or anything at all. I was faced head-on with this a week or two ago when I was out with the baby and the Easter bunny was making an appearance where we were. At our favorite consignment shop, I was asked if BG was getting his photo taken with the Easter bunny, and I was just sort of surprised. I didn’t know what to say. Should he be having his photo taken? Was I a bad parent if my son didn’t have a first photo wth the Easter bunny? Were we missing out on something? After seeing the bunny, I decided that all we’d be missing out on was a free photo of a spooky bunny and a terrified Baby Genius–in other words, not much at all.
But we’re still trying to figure out what and how we’ll celebrate this time of year once our son is more aware of it all. J and I have agreed that we both love the idea of dying eggs and hunting for them. We like the idea of celebrating spring. We’re unsure, though, about baskets full of goodies–chocolate bunnies and such. It’s a funny thing to consider because until recently this is not a time of year I have considered at all. Most years, the day has come and gone like any other Sunday, without so much as a chocolate egg, but this year, we noticed, and next year we will too, so it’s time we come up with some sort of spring tradition.
J and I have fairly eclectic spiritual views now. We have attended UU off and on for a number of years, and once BG is older, we’ll go more regularly. My guess is that once we do, all of the celebrating around this time of year is going to fall into place a little more organically, even comfortably. It’s fun, though, figuring out what our traditions are going to be. It’s a bit like we’ve got a clean slate, and we get to make it all up as we go along, pulling from any religion or myth or fairy tale we like–and that feels really right to me.