It’s been awhile since the last time I celebrated Easter with my family in Ohio.
I was a senior in high school. We had brunch at my aunt’s house before setting out on an egg hunt orchestrated by my Grandma MJ.
It didn’t matter that I was just weeks away from becoming a legal adult. It didn’t matter that most of my cousins were still in elementary school and probably looked up to me as some type of role model. I was still expected to carry a basket, and not wanting to disappoint, I ran from corner to corner like a crazed lioness on the hunt, set on the mission to find as many eggs as possible.
Because Grandma MJ didn’t just put on any ol’ colored eggs.
She always had the good stuff.
Over the weekend, my kids got to experience some of that good stuff, too. The timing of spring break and the vow renewal meant we got to celebrate Easter with our family in Ohio.
This meant waking up at my parents’ house to find buckets filled with books and goodies for the kids.
Then, after everyone finished up with breakfast, church and packing up the van for our return to Virginia, we headed over to Grandma MJ and Grandpa Charley’s house for lunch.
Even though the rest of the family — to include all my cousins who are now college students — wouldn’t arrive until dinner time, Grandma MJ prepared a meal especially for us knowing we had to hit the road before it got too late.
And not only did she prepare the meal, but she prepared an Easter adventure for the girls, complete with baskets, bunny ears, and the promise of a zillion wonderful eggs hidden in her backyard.
Just for my kids.
The girls went nuts, just like I remember doing. As soon as we said “GO!”, they were off for the hunt, zipping around the garden and squealing with every find.
Some of the eggs were obvious. Some were really tricky to find, tucked between tree roots or behind the shed. After about 15 minutes, all the eggs were found. After snapping some photos with the the family and the full baskets, we headed inside to dig through the eggs.
True to tradition, those eggs were filled with lots of goodies: chocolate, coins, five-dollar bills, jewelry, tiny Easter trinkets.
Oh, but Grandma MJ wasn’t done there. She presented each of the kids with a gift bag. Jaz got an adorable, fluffy stuffed bunny, and both girls received a dancing chicken that pops out a colored egg while singing a tune. It was the cutest and strangest thing ever, and the kids loved them.
For the next few hours, we sat around my grandparents’ living room and watched the kids play with their new things. We ate the lunch, talked about the Cincinnati Reds, and Martin’s new job as a stay-at-home dad. We looked at photos, compared cameras, and discussed summer plans.
The best part of the whole day, though, was watching my kids interact with their grandparents and great-grandparents.
My hope is that when the kids are older and are looking back on the memories of their childhood, they’ll remember the good stuff.
The hugs. The kisses.
The laughing. The teasing. The encouragement to eat as much as you want.
The splinter removal done by a patient grandpa.
Just being together and enjoying each other’s company.
Because THAT is the good stuff.