For the last few years, I have been talking about doing a neighborhood Easter egg hunt in our backyard. I got the idea from my cousin Sam who, after his mother (my aunt Mary) passed away at far too young an age, spoke about the egg hunts that she used to hold in their neighborhood.
For the last few years, I've also made excuses about why that year wasn't a good year for the egg hunt. Two years ago, my excuse was that I was too busy. As the date neared, I hated that that was the reason and a week before Easter, I almost decided to throw the egg hunt together. But the weather looked like it was going to be crappy so I decided against it.
Last year, I got closer to organizing the egg hunt but then I decided that it would compete with the town's egg hunt and I didn't want that to be annoying for anyone. So we took our kids to the town egg hunt instead. It wasn't really the vision I had in my head, mainly because I'll never forget the pathetic look on Teddy's little face when he ended up with two pieces of candy.
Then came this year. One Saturday about a month ago, the two people in our house that like to sleep (Brian and Annabel) were napping. The two people that hate to sleep (me and Teddy) were looking for something to do. I just couldn't play another game of knee hockey so I decided that this year, it was time for the egg hunt.
Teddy helped me make the invitations on the computer. He had thoughts about what they should say and since he can't read, he thinks that the invitations actually ended up saying what he had suggested (I had to make a slightly more succinct version for print). He also had thoughts as to who we should invite (everyone he knew), so we headed out to distribute invitations. We did it by hand because after all, an important secondary interest of the project was allowing Brian to have a precious hour nap. Not that Brian hasn't been trained to nap with Teddy climbing on top of him and asking him questions, because he has, but for once, I wanted him to have a real nap.
It was a beautiful day and I loved every minute of walking around the neighborhood with Teddy, putting the invitations in mailboxes. This was just after a big snow storm and there were piles of wet snow all around -- the awesome snowball kind -- and Teddy and I ended up throwing snowballs at each other between mailboxes. At first, I thought we may live in a world where throwing snowballs wasn't allowed anymore. But I just made a rule -- that the snowball can only hit the person's jacket, nowhere else -- and decided that friendly snowball fights should never go out of style.
Next, Teddy and I drove around to friends' houses in Canton. He loved giving out the invitations and asking the adults that all squatted down to eye level with him, "Would you like to come to the egg hunt?" The egg hunt. Adorable.
For the last week, there have been two topics of conversation in our house. The first, obviously, was Baby James. Annabel announced yesterday, "I want to hug him and kiss him." Aw, my baby girl, I do too. (In fact, I got some precious time with James last night after she went to sleep. I can't tell Annabel about it because she'll be mad at me. But last night as I held the sleeping baby, I realized how much I already love him. How's that even possible?)
Anyways, the second topic of constant conversation has been today's egg hunt. The kids can't wait.
Admittedly, however, they're not the ones who are the most excited. The most excited one? That would be me.
This morning, I woke up early -- before 6am -- and I couldn't get back to sleep. I lied awake feeling like a kid on Christmas morning. I couldn't sleep because I was too excited for the day.
That's when I got the itch to write; that uncontrollable impulse to get my thoughts on paper.
It was still dark outside when I came downstairs to my computer.
And that's when it hit me; a realization so powerful that it gave me the chills.
I've healed. OK, fine, not completely, and yes, this Wednesday, I will check into the hospital so that Dr. Chun can cut open the huge incisions on my breasts and complete the reconstructive surgery. But even with fresh scars, I'll still have healed. Because this morning I came downstairs to write; not because I needed my keyboard as a way to settle fear and anxiety, but because I was bursting with excitement for our egg hunt.
* * *
Sometimes, just sometimes, one of my visions turns out as good as I expected. In a small subset of those times, the reality far exceeds my expectations. The egg hunt today, on one of the most beautiful spring mornings I have ever seen, fell into the small subset of better than I had ever imagined.
|Evidence of the Easter Bunny...|
|Easter cupcakes made by my fabulous neighbors, Kathy and Genna.|
|Annabel in search mode. That mode didn't last for long. She liked to find candy and stop for a few minutes to unwrap it (of course insisting she do that herself) and eat it before looking for her next piece.|
|Teddy and his best bud, Liam -- victorious after the hunt (and ready for Little League to begin).|
|James couldn't make the egg hunt so we paid him a visit later. Teddy loves his new cuz.|
|Taking good care of him...|
|Annabel, in search mode again...not so entertained by the new sheriff in town.|