Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Sleeveless Dresses, Easter Hats, Baby Chicks and Greener Pastures

One of my favorite times to dress my kids up when they were little was Easter. As a child myself, Easter was always a time we got new clothes. Sleeveless Easter dresses, Easter Bonnets, little cotton ruffly socks and new glossy white maryjanes if you'd outgrown last year's; maybe a little purse if you're lucky.

I remember black and white photos of my siblings before I was born. My Brother Paul with his little Gangster hat, suit and tie. My sisters with their woven hats with ribbons trailing behind, and full taffeta sleeveless dresses, little purses dangling from their arms as they ran along with their Easter baskets in tow, all hyped up on sugar. One year, My brother Mike, I am told, via someone else's memory, got a baby chick in his Easter Basket. A chick that became a Duck. A Duck that followed him around the backyard, until one day it didn't. I'm not sure if it went off to "live on a farm" like so many children's family dogs end up doing, or if it left to seek greener pastures.

My kids are 24, 22, and 20 now, and are at the stage where they challenge the need to go to Church on Easter Sunday at all.  Their Easter baskets are cotton bags with magazines and Artisan Chocolate bars, Power bars and Gourmet Soup mixes. But, My Little Terrence in his Madras plaid shorts and polo shirt, his little Fila Tennis shoes; Lindsey and Avery in their pastel dresses and pink hats. I can't say my heart doesn't  sink when Terrence says he won't come to mass.  It does.  I see the younger parents little children in the Toddler corner at mass all dressed up in their sleeveless dresses, playing house with their new little stuffed rabbits,  their ruffly little socks peeking out from under their dress as they sit on the rug and wait for the priest to invite them up to the altar.  My heart is soft for the days when I was a younger parent and  my favorite little people eagerly awaited the arrival of the Easter Bunny, and did their best to sit through mass, while peeking at Pokemon cards and matchbox cars in their madras short pockets and Polly Pocket dolls in their little pouch purses.

My own brother Mike has a grandchild of his own, who wears a pretty little taffeta Easter dress and hat. Maybe she will get a little live chick in her Easter Basket too, one day which will grow into a duck and follow her around.

But every Easter, as far back as I can remember was much too cold for sleeveless dresses.
We are awaiting warmer temperatures and the new life of spring, letting go of outgrown clothes, and shiny Mary Jane shoes. We are wearing sweaters over our sleeveless dresses, eager to step into new seasons, but holding onto what we must to bear the chill that comes before change arrives. We are holding dear the memories of Easter's past, with hopes of Easter's future; Grandkids with shiny Mary Janes and ruffly pink socks. Ducks that follow you around the yard but only for a short time, as greener pastures are seeking them, and they are seeking greener pastures, dotted with pastel Easter eggs as far as the eye can see.

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