when i was a little girl
and then a medium girl
and then a big girl
my family held GIGANTIC Easter parties.
all of us.
a gigantic, catholic family of epic proportions in texas.
and we're full of love.
we never limit the love.
friends, romans, countryman
they're all welcome here.
so we had these gigantic parties!
the saturday before easter
we invited EVERYONE we knew
and they invited EVERYONE they knew
and they all brought their kids and their grandparents
and twelve dozen plastic candy filled easter eggs
and we gathered all these eggs in a giant basket
and we gathered all the food everyone brought in my dad's shop
and we gathered all the people every single place we could possibly fit them.
inside, outside, front yard, back yard, shop, shed, trucks, trees
people were EVERYWHERE.
and everyone had fun.
(but not the kids, of course,)
everyone was happy that lent was over or nearly over
and it was just utterly fantastic.
the Big Event would happen.
all the kids gather inside
and clutch onto easter baskets.
a big kid
or a grown-up
acts as wrangler
and for ten-fifteen-twenty minutes maybe!
all the kids inside
squirm and push and scream and laugh and yell
anxiously waiting for that gigantic basket of eggs to be planted
to be hidden
to be spewed all over the backyard, the front yard, the trees, the people, the shop, the EVERYWHERE!
and then the hunt
the babies are allowed out first.
they're three and under
some of them being carried by older cousins or parents
and the babies just kind of patter around the yard in circles
happy with one egg or colored piece of plastic
then come the four year olds
the five year olds
hordes of children
tearing out of the house
sprinting around the slightly-more-than-an-acre yard we had
a mad dash for treats and treasures untold
the competition suddenly increases
seven year olds
eight year olds
quickly by 11, 12, 13, 14 maybe, even.
trampling, stomping, hurtling forward
plundering and stashing
candy, eggs, maybe money from eggs
not bothering to look at their loot
only troubling themselves to get as much of it as possible.
ten, at the most,
the hunt ends
the eggs scavenged, hunted, and horded.
we gather in groups to peruse the haul.
real eggs, hard boiled eggs,
were almost nearly thrown out immediately
or given to grown-ups
who may or may not appreciate the taste.
the real wins were anything with money
bite sized candy bars
and then the feasting begins.
and through the day and through the night
we all connect and rejoice and are grateful for the time to celebrate, to appreciate, to remember who we are and where we come from and why we join together to sing.
hoppy easter, everyone!