Monday, April 09, 2007

Who must know the way to make a proper home. . . .

My children have gone back to their respective apartments and the house is quiet, and this really creeps me out, big time. I don't do well with peace and quiet; I thrive on chaos.

In a few minutes I will pack away the Easter baskets 'till next year.

Grown children? Easter baskets? You read it right. I still create Easter baskets for my children.

These baskets are almost 29 years old. I bought them when I was pregnant with my daughter, and I bought two "just in case." Good thing, huh Zappa.

My mother used the same baskets for all of us kids (heh) up until we were long married. Seeing that same basket year after year was thrilling to us, and I wanted my own children to feel that thrill of traditional continuity, too. See those little danglies hanging from each basket handle? Those little egg bells and bunny jinglies and bunny jump-ups are nearly thirty years old, too. They hang from the basket handles because they're always hung from the basket handles.

I did finally stop putting the bunny village all around the baskets, but I still have all the bunnies. I could start again any time I wanted. We don't have a huge Easter Egg Hunt any more, but we could if we decided we wanted to. We did the Hunt 'till the kids were in high school. (Shhh, don't tell anybody.) We just loved it that much.

Sometimes I consider skipping the basket, but then I realize that I don't really want to. I do enough things I don't want to do, so I decided I'll create Easter baskets for twenty-something children if I darn well please, thankyouverymuch.

Obviously, the baskets in this picture have been picked clean. They put their chocolate bunnies and chocolate eggs and Reese's peanut butter eggs and the special little treats that are always in the plastic eggs, in little WalMart bags to take back home with them and share with friends and roomates whose mothers stopped the holiday traditions once their kids grew up and moved out.


This mother (do with this word what you may) doesn't stop being Mommy just because her kids grew up, when it comes to holiday traditions. This mother still puts Sunny Bunny and Mr. Sunshine in her children's Easter baskets, and this mother still looks forward to buying Hershey eggs and Reese's eggs and little treats to put inside the plastic eggs. This mother looks at the bunny village and sighs, a little sigh for lost childhood, both theirs and mine. . . .

I have never understood parents who do not take the trouble to create things for their children. There is something about those pre-made baskets lining the WalMart shelves that makes me more than just a little bit ill, and sorry for the child who gets something thrown together by an impersonal stranger rather than something created by someone who loves them.

I think the word "created" pretty much sums it up. We created these children, and we still love to create things for them. And if I remember the lesson correctly, things that are created are loved before they actually exist.

Of course, the saddest of all would be the family that doesn't bother to create traditions at all. Even families who don't celebrate an actual Holy-day, can create something special for a child for a Holiday. Create it. That means building it piece by piece. I've blogged before about how parents have the power to set aside days and make them special; why don't all parents use this power for good? We all need special days now and then.

I suppose buying an already-made Easter basket or Christmas stocking off the shelf is a tradition for some families, but it still makes me sad for the children. Holidays should not be impersonal things, with traditions bought off the rack and tossed at a child quickly so Dad won't miss the football game. I'm really sad for those children.

And for the parents who will never know the thrill of actually creating, putting something together for their children that is unique, especially for YOUR children, made by YOU, for THEM.

Creation. It's a wonder, if you let it be a wonder.

And it's so easy to do. I remember the Easter basket and Christmas stocking my mother had for me, and my children remember the Easter baskets and Christmas stockings I have for them. I will keep on creating for my children as long as there is breath in my body. Nobody has baskets and stockings like ours. Nobody should have baskets and stockings like yours, either.

When I was still in the public schools, I used to have contests at holiday times, with loaded Easter baskets or Christmas stockings as prizes, and those contests were totally fixed, because the winners were predetermined to be poor little kids whose families couldn't create these things. When a little child is handed a filled basket or stocking and told that he/she can take it home and keep it forever because it's THEIRS, and the child looks at you with "that" expression on his/her little face. . . . some years I had to fight for the right to do those things, but ultimately nobody could have stopped me, as long as I was there. I miss that.

No, nothing will ever prevent me from creating Easter baskets and Christmas stockings for my children. I'm not sure that even Alzheimer's could stop me. But then, how would I know?
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 1:36 AM | |


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