Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter '08

Though not a particularly (strike particularly) religious family, we're big fans of carols at Christmas and Evensong in random English cathedrals but that's pretty much where it ends. We seem to be disgustingly sanguine about the commercialization of Christian holidays, equally comfortable with Santa and elves and Easter bunnies and tooth fairies. We're not actively anti-religion in that we have no emotional investment in our lack of belief. We don't enter into arguments of faith with friends who are deeply religious or scoff and shake our heads in pitying wonderment when religion is discussed. It's just not a part of our lives. But may I say again that we very much embrace the rabbit who delivers high end chocolates and jelly beans and Peeps, ohmygod, the Peeps which I kindly eat for my grandchildren due to their seeming indifference. I use them as table decorations, thus allowing the sugary outer layer to crispen up a bit. It brings back memories of my own Easter basket peeps, sugar hardened and plastic Easter grass embedded deeply. Biting into a Peeps was sometimes a little like flossing if the grass got wedged uncomfortably high on the gum.

My husband's sister, who lives deep in the heart of Wales, is quite the opposite. One day when two clean-shaven, close-trimmed, white-shirted and tie-clad American Mormon boys tapped on her door with some good news, she listened and bought the package. Completely. Yeah, I know...we don't talk about it much. There passed a few years when she was deeply troubled by our lack of commitment to a religion and when the church no doubt told her we were ripe for the plucking, she dutifully airmailed us an awful lot of LDS literature. And then there was that year we were wintering in Pasadena so Roger could better recover from back surgery and not have to make the weekly commute from Milwaukee to L.A. for a project he was then working on. About a week after his surgery (and he was none too comfortable), two young women knocked on our door one evening with some good wishes and better news. Who wouldn't be excited by that? Mormons are notoriously pretty when young and exceptionally clean. But when they said, "We received a letter from your sister in Britain and she said you (my husband) had just had back surgery and we have come to pray with you and to invite you to explore the Wonderful World of Mormon with us," I did more than bristle. Now my husband is by nature far more polite than I am. He's also more inclined to talk to strangers. I'm more inclined to say, when I don't like the message, "You're going to have to fuck off now because this is starting to really rub me wrong." Whereas he may listen for 10 minutes and then enter into theological discussions with strangers (WHO KNOW OUR NAMES AND ADDRESSEs) even though he knows SFA about the LDS and Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. I haven't exactly studied the Mormon faith, but I've read a fair amount about it because, let's face it, it's fascinating stuff. I became interested in these folks when a behemoth LDS Temple was being built on the Beltway (495) in Washington, DC. Very Disneyesque and mysterious. I think I've mentioned before that a bridge crossing the freeway just before the Temple has RUN DOROTHY RUN emblazoned across it. Every six months or so it is cleaned off and then, within a week, mysteriously reappears.

So back to our lack of religion. As lazy parents, we decided to let our kids be introduced to the Holy Bible and mysterious rites of Christianity via their schools in England...Church of England and a convent school for my daughter taught by the La Sagesse teaching order of nuns. We figured that would give them an almost sufficient amount of confusion so they could almost sort out any Biblical cultural reference to a deficient degree. May I just state categorically that it worked. They half understand (like their parents) a lot of stuff and are mightily confused by the rest.

And so while we sat around the table yesterday, we listened to Charlotte as she tried to figure just what the hell this holiday was all about. None of us felt like getting into death or resurrection. So we listened to Lottie. She started with..."So, Easter is all about this guy

It's hard to get this Bunny to stop moving long enough to capture a still image.

These two bunnies, Charlotte and Charlie, were displaying some sugary behavior that lasted well into the night.

Sophie is ready to go to the beach...enough of Easter. The only candy she likes are lollipops. Jelly beans are yucky. By eating lots of sugar, the other kids are achieving near-Sophie status in the active stakes.

Charlie's still looking for eggs and it's pitch black outside.

The evening is winding down. We're desperate to get a picture of both girls sporting the ears. Sophie won't cooperate. Fortunately, we don't care at this point. That's my daughter, Jane..the grown up one.
For some reason, Lottie kept taking her basket apart and putting it together...this was the night before Easter. Easter Eve? She was prepping the basket for the bunny.
Even Baby Annie had to wear ears. Nobody gets off easily in this house. Impressively, with only two front bottom teeth, Annie also ate a jelly bean (and didn't choke) and moved pretty quickly when she spied another errant one. We kept it at one.

Finally...Sophie looking ready for bed.


Blogger gwendomama said...

yay = pics of the lovies!!

i made the mistake of merely recounting a friend's explanation to her 5 yo about easter. started a frackin comment war!
i make cupcakes that would be good enough to serve the queen, and anonymous wants to talk about egg laying hares.

10:34 PM  
Blogger ziggi said...

that's the best religious experience I've ever had :)

12:30 AM  

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