March 5, 2013

Easter Sunday

For me, Easter morning had only one motivation: do NOT be the last one to find your Easter basket. My parents didn't do the more traditional Easter Egg Hunt with candy and plastic eggs scattered everywhere, waiting for the most resourceful or determined kid to find them all. My parents had five kids and knew the sacred value of fairness. Our Easter candy was divided equally into baskets, labeled, and then hidden. Also, they were hidden inside the house. No one in my family goes outside before 10 am. What are we, farmers?

Easter morning was like a mini-Christmas; Mom and Dad would make us wait in our rooms until we were called out. We all came out at once, and quietly but furiously began scouring the house for the Easter basket with our name on it. If we saw someone else's basket, we'd pretend we didn't see anything and discreetly move on. Every year, one of us would be the last to find it, and it would take FOREVER. And usually, everybody else had already seen where your basket was hidden. There was no greater shame.

I remember two specific instances where one final Easter basket taunted one of my siblings. (Also taunting: me and the other siblings.) The first was Jill's. We were all pretty young. In fact, I think it was just me and Jill and Carly. Jill was doomed from the start: my dad had hidden her basket while my mom had hidden mine and Carly's. My mom's basket hiding philosophy was something like "wouldn't it be funny to walk down stairs and see your basket hanging from the ceiling fan?" (I think my mom invented lulz.) My dad's basket hiding philosophy was more along the lines of "let's pretend I just murdered someone with this Easter basket and the cops were on their way over with a search warrant." Jill is still traumatized to this day over how long it took her to find that basket. (It was in the shower.)

Specific instance number two was a little cruel, now that I think about it. My brother, Jake, was afraid of the vacuum for many years of his life. He called it the "um" and would stay clear of the carpet until the vacuuming was finished. (Adorable!) I think you can see where this is going. Of course, the rest of us had found his basket, but for some reason, Jake had avoided opening the coat closet with the vacuum inside, his Easter basket perched on top. (Guess who hid it: mom or dad?) As we watched him wander around, looking in the oven, the shower (ever since Jill's fun year, that was one of the first places we looked), peering into the washing machine, we started to feel bad. So, to help him out, we all started humming "uuuummmm....." After he decided we weren't crazy, he realized what we were doing, and very quickly found his Easter basket.

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