Monday, April 9, 2012

The Easter bug

            The night before Easter, as Tim was getting our 2 year old ready for bed he asked her, “Do you know who is coming tonight?”  The whole family was very eagerly anticipating the celebration of Easter.  We had had a busy Holy Week, filled with family activities and Holy week Masses and services and events, all to prepare our hearts for a true celebration of the Resurrection of Our Lord.  Still, we knew the little ones were probably as excited about jelly beans and plastic eggs as they were about Mass and joyfully singing "Alleluia" with our parish family.  Yet, our littlest one surprised us with her answer to daddy’s question.  She said, “A bug is coming.”  

            We are not sure if she misunderstood when we briefly mentioned the Easter bunny (could she have thought we said, "Easter buggy?") or if she just knew, with it being springtime in Florida, that it is not uncommon for bugs to come into the house at night.  Whatever the cause, clearly she did not really know about the Easter bunny at all.   It was then that we realized we had pretty much forgotten to explain to her about the tradition of Easter baskets filled in the night by a little furry, hopping friend.  

          She knew all about Jesus’ crucifixion and about the boo-boos on his hands and feet.  She knew “Mama Mary” was very sad when Jesus died and she knew that on Easter, Jesus felt better and was not dead anymore.  She told me repeatedly in the preceding week, “Mommy, Jesus died on the cross”. 

        When her siblings were younger there seemed to be a lot more focus on the Easter bunny and not nearly as much on Jesus.  As the years have passed, Tim and I have grown and our understanding of our faith has matured and deepened.  Our older children have also grown and their understanding of our faith has matured too.  Sharing all about Christ’s sacrifice and suffering has become such a part of our life and our family, we forget sometimes about the other traditions that used to mean so much to us.

       Tim, in his amusement and surprise, continued to question our daughter.   “Who do you think will bring all the candy for your Easter basket?” he asked her.  And she promptly answered, “You!”  

Maybe, as it turns out, she is not at all confused, maybe she understands a whole lot more than we give her credit for......

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