Easter in our house was full of worship and family. We always got up early on Sundays to prepare for church. We lived close enough to the church to walk to the services. I have vivid memories as a child of practically running to keep up with my parents. When I was very young, I held onto my parents’ hands and ran in the middle to keep up. Whenever we came to cracks in the sidewalk, I wanted to jump over them, you know – “Step on a crack, break your mother’s back – sort of thing. I believed what the older children told me. My mother was more accommodating with the swinging and jumping. My father however got quite upset about such “silly rhymes,” telling me to straighten up and walk right.
Of course Easter meant a new outfit, and if I was really lucky, a hat. But my parents’ were not rich, so I learned early on never to ask for anything from a store, even though I found many outfits, and especially delightful hats I loved. My mother always made my clothes. And went over and above for Christmas and Easter. I especially loved our “matching” outfits she would create. There was nothing more I wanted to be than just like her.
After church we usually gathered at Grandma’s house, all the Aunts and Uncles, all the cousins. Grandma fixed the majority of the meal, but the Aunts brought wonderful dishes of food. And desserts. Lots of desserts! And they sat out all afternoon with no adult supervision, so us kids would sneak back into the kitchen to nibble on what we hadn’t tasted during our dinner.
When it came time for the meal, the cousins were seated at a separate table. It was a big deal when you got assigned to that table, because it meant you didn’t need your mother’s help. You weren’t a “baby” anymore. However, what those grown-up babies didn’t realize was the older cousins were under strict instructions from grandma. But they tolerated the fussing and scolding from older cousins easier than they did from their mothers.
After we were done eating, we had small duties to perform. After that we were shushed out of the area – outside if the weather was nice, or upstairs so the adults could socialize. We tried to play quiet games, but you can imagine how things could get going with a bunch of children who only saw each other at holidays or birthdays. Then grandma would come upstairs and suggest something quieter for us to do.
But after she went back downstairs we knew the only way we could be quiet for a while was to gather around the large open air register which allowed heat to go upstairs, and peer down and listen to the adult’s conversation. This usually didn’t last long before we got bored, and went back to our rampaging again.
Looking back now I marvel on how patient grandma was with us. She seemed to understand our need to run around and have fun. I might get a scolding from my mother after I got home, but it was never one of the parents who came upstairs. It was always a loving grandma, so proud of her grandchildren.
Thanks Mom and grandma.