Failing and Rising: An Easter Story

April 22nd, 2017

Ah, Easter. A holiday of resurrection and rebirth. It’s beautiful, joyful, flower-filled. And dangerous. Easter is a parenting minefield, my friends. As with any holiday that involves atypical wardrobe requirements, large quantities of sugar, and high expectations for good behavior, there are many opportunities for disaster. This Easter weekend was, frankly, a mixed bag for the Snyder clan, but we rallied in the end.

My first mistake was egg decorating. It always seems like such a good idea – a family craft project destined to produce gorgeous Easter baubles and luminous holiday memories. Hooray! But, of course, the darned egg dye kits are lies wrapped in falsehoods. You would think I would remember that from year to year, but no. Realizing quickly that their eggs were not going to look anything like the pictures on the box, my kids lost interest in the project in about five minutes, leaving me with a bunch of bowls of vinegar water, some cheap cardboard egg stands, and two dozen undecorated eggs.

The egg decorating was a disappointment but the real train wreck was the egg hunt – a time-honored Easter tradition fraught with peril. I knew better than to count on Mother Nature, so I staged our family hunt entirely indoors. Rather than hiding a bunch of eggs around the house, I wrote up seven sequential clues that would lead the kids to a shared Easter basket that was hidden in the front hall closet. It really was a delightfully cute idea, with little rhyming couplets hidden inside the eggs.

My darling angels turned this sweet collaborative activity into a mixed-martial-arts cage match in fifteen seconds flat. They fought over whose turn it was to read the clues, pushed and shoved en route to the hidden eggs, and generally behaved like a pack of rabid wolves. Many tears were shed over those seven stupid eggs and the whole thing could charitably be described as an epic Easter fail.

But all was not lost. By mid-afternoon, the rain had stopped and the kids tumbled out into the yard to work off their sugar high. Friends and family arrived for a potluck dinner, armed with a guitar and a ukulele, and we sang songs on the back patio and watched the kids push each other on the swings.

I even tempted fate by making a Pinterest dessert. What can I say – I live on the edge. But behold, an Easter miracle! The Carrot Patch Brownies were a massive success. Comprised of a pan of brownies plus frosting plus crumbled Oreos plus strawberries dipped in orange candy coating, they were magnificent. The brownies, combined with a homemade cherry vodka limeade, saved the day for me. I started consuming both at approximately 3:30pm. Do not judge me. You weren’t there for the egg-hunt fiasco.

In any case, as the evening wore on, we ate a lot and laughed a lot and it turns out that when you feel like you’ve failed, it’s rarely the end of the story. I happen to think that’s also the message of Easter: no matter what comes before, there’s always a chance to start again and rise above.

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