I have always enjoyed Easter. Ever since I was a young child, finding that basket and those eggs have been moments of pure joy. My tired parents always watched closely, and if my siblings and I struggled, they would tell us how many eggs were left, and tell us which rooms the Easter Bunny hid them in.
After the morning hunt, we went to church and had another hunt, or had fun games an activities. I don’t remember church things as well, because I didn’t enjoy them as much. My parents were happy there, however, so I sat quietly and read whatever I could find. If I was bored enough and didn’t have books of my own, I read Revelations. It didn’t make much sense to me at the time, but it was much more interesting than the other parts of the Bible.
I remember that until my brother and I grew up, the two of us were the only constants on Easter, save our mom and dad. Other children came and went, as it always was in a foster family. Countless other children came to our home and lived for a time, and then left. Some got to have holidays at our house. Some were older than us, and others were the same age or younger.
My brother and I didn’t care. It was a fun activity, and we got presents in our baskets, which were, although small, as much fun as the candy.
One year, we got brightly-colored fishing poles. I had a yellow bumble-bee one, and Bip got either green or purple. Mine lasted for years, and I went fishing whenever I was at either of my grandparents’ homes. If they didn’t have worms, there were problems.
Those problems were mostly just a whiny brat, but that is besides the point.
Easters were always happy. For dinner, we went to my paternal grandparents’ farm. I don’t much remember that from my childhood, but going there was never unhappy for my family.
Once again, my biggest memories of Easter were the baskets and eggs.
The few times Easter was sunny and arm, the hunt was outside. Once, there was an egg hidden in the bow of a decorated broom. Sometimes, my older brother and sister, Kristi and Carlos, would help Bip and I reach the higher eggs. Sometimes, we had plastic eggs with a piece of candy or a little money inside.
Once the hunt was done, plastic eggs were gutted and their contents were dumped into our baskets. The shells were tossed into the Easter box, and we were carted off to church in our Easter best.
Mom always made sure there were peeps in the baskets. She knew we all liked them.
Easters continued along in this happy blur until late high school. My oldest siblings ran away, and it was just me and Bip. Money was tight, and Dad was moved to another state for work, so when there weren’t foster kids, Easter was put on the back burner. There was less candy, and there were less presents. We still colored eggs, and the hunts still continued.
As I entered college, money became even tighter. Mom was a wreck. Her worry and stress made her lash out in strange ways that drove me off, but we still enjoyed even barebones Easters. I became a pagan, and still went to church with her on Easter, because it made her happy.
I lost interest in paganism, and instead became simply open-minded, with an inclination towards atheism. I came out of the closet as pansexual to my friends, and more things I couldn’t tell my mother, but even after all of those changes in me, I continued to go to Easter church with Mom.
Not long ago, I was visiting my dad in North Carolina so that I could meet an internet friend at the Ren Faire there. The corset I ordered arrived at home, and mom sent it along to me. The day it arrived, I was having one of my random bouts of depression.
I was so lonely, because in my dad’s big, shared house, there was only me and his little dog during the day. The house was so open and empty of life.
As much as I hated them, I missed how there were kids constantly running around at home, and so many pets. I didn’t have my own cats with me– one was too old for so much travel, and the other would have been miserable. I had only my friends on my computer and a weird little dog that liked to bark.
I tried going for walks. I cried. I tried to call my friends. Nobody was online, nobody was answering.
The mail arrived, and I wiped my tears and put on my hoodie to protect myself from the light chill and the sun. In the mail was a package. As I pulled it from the mail-box, I felt how bulky it was and hurried it inside. This was what I was waiting for! I tossed the other mail and the package from Fire Mountain onto the couch and tore into the corset package from Mom. Just as I was about to open it, I got a text.
“I sent you a package. Did it arrive?“
I ignored it while I tore open the padded envelope. There it was, along with the rest of my forgotten costume. I hurriedly tried on the corset. It was a little big, but it wouldn’t hurt. As I pulled the rest of the costume from the package, I gaped. Mom sent me a box of peeps; they were chocolate flavored, and shaped like cats. She sent another text.
“I added a surprise. They reminded me of your silly Halloween kitten.” Attached was a picture of Velvet, eyes glowing as she stared at the camera from a window sill. I laughed and responded. As the phone rang, I pondered just what to say to my mom, who thought of me and loved me, even when I was so far away.
Since then, peeps have always been a sign for me that my mom loves me and thinks of me often.
I have become a little bit addicted, now.
Yes, I had one in my mouth as I typed this.