Monday, April 21, 2014

An Easter Picnic

This year the girls and I were able to attend Andrew's family Easter Picnic. We have never been close enough to go for the weekend, but this year living in Austin we were able to ride along with my mother and father-in law. With Andrew being in leadership at Whole Foods, he had to work Easter weekend. I was sad he couldn't come, but glad we had the opportunity.

We went to a ranch about an hour south (maybe southwest?) of Austin. I was mostly just along for the ride, sitting in the backset between carseats. Rosemary feel asleep almost immediately and Blanche talked almost without taking a breath for the first half. Taking road trips with a two year old is pretty funny. Blanche saw all the Texas wildflowers along the highway. She wanted to get out and pick them. So she just pretended to grab them along the way. We also starting talking about when we went to Corpus, and then Blanche started talking about how she wanted to go to the beach. It took Gigi's help to get her mind off the idea of heading the beach that day. However, when we did arrive I think Blanche was fine about where we were.

Showpa opened the huge gates to the Texas ranch that we were on. Gigi drove the car inside. Blanche cried not to leave Showpa. Within ten minutes of being out of the car Blanche was exploring the land and looking at the water with her Showpa and cousin Jonathan. It is so cute to hear her say, "You come too Jonathan?" They really are little friends.

I am now at the point of recognizing quite a few faces when it comes to Andrew's family. These are all the cousins of Andrew's moms. So, there are multiple families and I still have a long way to go before remembering who belongs to who. Maybe I will ask Andrew's mom to write out a family tree for me. Either way, it doesn't matter if I remember them. Each one always comes up to me with a warm smile. That's why I wasn't afraid of being shy or unwelcome coming to a reunion without my true link to the family. They all came up, "Jeran! We are so glad you could come! I hoped you would still come even though Andrew had to work." I felt so welcomed.

One of my favorite parts of our afternoon at the ranch was Blanche and her cousins hunting for Easter eggs. This was Blanche's first Easter egg hunt. I was curious what she would think. Last week Blanche and I had been at Hobby Lobby and I remembered that we needed to buy Easter eggs. I told her about how we would put candy inside and then hide the eggs, and she would find them. Her response and memory about this all last week made it seem like she had done this multiple times. "I put candy in my eggs. Then hide them and find them!" She kept exclaiming. On our way home from the craft store after buying the eggs, I told her Easter was about Jesus. I have not come to the point where I explain a lot to Blanche unless she asks, but I figured if we were buying eggs I wanted her to know what we were celebrating. I asked her if she remembered celebrating Christmas and that it was Jesus's birthday. Yes she said. Then I told her well, Jesus died. Blanche gasped from her little carseat. Then I told her that he died because he loved us and we celebrate because he came back! She was very excited.

The egg hunt made me laugh. Jonathan was very into finding the eggs. But he was always willing to share. He would put some in his basket and some in Blanche's. Blanche had grabbed a few eggs but began to loose interest. I showed her that there was chocolate in them. That may have been a mistake. She then wanted to eat the candy she had "now." All of the sudden I had the kid that was leaving behind empty Easter eggs and taking out the candy. I kept telling her one more piece and then she was done. She kept finding more. She also continued helping herself to the popcorn machine after figuring out how to slide her hand through the bottom.

I think Blanche truly celebrated. At the start of the day I let Blanche share a little bit of frozen strawberry lemonade with me. From then on, any red slushy drink with a straw was Blanche's according to Blanche. While we were loading up Blanche was tiredly walking through the parking lot. Her dress was covered in dirt and chocolate. She almost seemed a little drunk from all the candy and excitement. I asked Andrew's mom, "Where did she get that slushy?" "I don't know, she had it when I found her. " she replied. We loaded Blanche into the car letting her have "one more sip." She was asleep before we got off the dirt road.

Last night Andrew and I laid in bed and talked a bit about our days. He had worked Easter Sunday as well. I told him I liked going to church but never really feel a hundred percent like I belong there. I also told him apparently it is now politically correct to not assume everyone is celebrating Easter. I had thought that was the only holiday that landed on that day. I am not naive enough to believe that everyone believes in Jesus. I just thought the people that did not still celebrated with the Easter bunny. Sort of like Christmas and Santa Clause. Our neighbors were hitting a bunny shaped piƱata outside when we got home. They were yelling things like, "Hit that bitch!" You know, in front of my two year old. I think they were celebrating Easter, but not the same thing we were. Andrew said he had a co worker saying, "Happy Holidays" even though all of Whole Foods candy had Easter bunnies.

Each holiday now that Blanche is becoming older we talk about how we want to celebrate. Andrew was talking about commercialism. I have never been too big on commercialism. I don't like people trying to tell me what to buy. I know I get sucked in sometimes, but I like to think of myself as much of an individual as possible. I was happy though to tell Andrew that Blanche had seemed to grab so much of the concept we wanted her to, almost on her own. She had partied with family, eaten her weight in candy, found eggs, went to her Gigi's church and then to her house for lunch. And by the end of the day Blanche exclaimed, "Jesus died! But he came back! He loves us!" Sometimes I love seeing the world through Blanche. She does not worry about being politically correct or if she is falling into consumerism. She is happy. She accepts the good of those around her and is excited to experience life. She is glad for someone as loving as Jesus. She is glad he came back.

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