This is our picture perfect holiday. An Easter that by all appearances is indeed perfect.
One perfect moment after another.
Sure seems that way, doesn’t it? Don’t get me wrong, I love the beautiful well dressed family Easter portraits. But, we aren’t perfect, and although I could post only the best photos from that day. I’m choosing to share the other side too. You know what side I’m talking about.
Yes, that’s it.
Wait, we got him back. The little guy shaped up, he’s ready for more perfect pictures of our perfect life.
Yes, that’s more like it, our perfect life, where nothing is out of order and no one is ever unhappy.
Uh oh. Wait a second….
Okay someone take him out of here. Let’s just photograph the kids who are willing to act like everything is perfect or at the very least recover from their meltdown for a photo or two. The middle one has puffy red eyes because she too lost her mind for a bit. Also, there’s ink on her knee. Who knows what scribbling genius she created there. And, she never met a lipstick she didn’t like…or a nail polish for that matter.
Finally, the oldest, I’ve trained her well. Sit and smile. There, perfect. Also a big lipstick fan.
One perfect group shot…except Dad isn’t happy because we’re really late for church. Dad can’t hide his emotions when it comes to tardiness. Which is weird because he married me. Look at him, his eyes are saying, “This better be the last picture. We are so late. Smile, it’s Easter.”
We did it. We styled our hair perfectly, we ironed each unpleasant crease, we perfected our color palette. We hunted, and we hunted, and we hunted eggs. Most importantly, we worshiped a living God. It was a glorious Easter. And then, Easter evening, when all the pomp and circumstance was over, we did what I would say probably not many families in America did. On a whim, my kids painted their hair pink and then we threw the first ever Hurst Easter Egg Fight, and I handed my camera over to my husband.
My husband so kindly volunteered to photograph it instead of participate in it. (I did throw an egg at him. My aim isn’t good.) I’ve blogged almost every year at Easter about my Granddaddy’s notorious Easter egg fights he started. They were a piece of my life with him that while he was living I never knew I would miss when he was gone. He’s been gone seven years. I haven’t had an Easter egg fight since then. Easter is also the last family holiday we shared with him. His memory pulls at me stronger at Easter, always. I’ve visited his grave many times on Easter and left eggs in his memory. And each year we always decorate eggs for him, even if we don’t deliver them to his grave.
This Easter I was talking with my Granny on the phone and she said, “You should go throw eggs at each other. Granddaddy would like that.” When I hung up, I thought yeah, that’s exactly what we are going to do. I’m not entirely sure how the kids ended up asking for pink hair, maybe they thought their mom truly was not of sound mind and now was the time to ask. They were right. We stripped down out of our Sunday’s best, and we put on the worst assortment of old clothes we could assemble. We sprayed the kids hair pink, and we rocked Easter. Fuzzy peace pajama pants, mismatched leggings with a tie dyed shirt, and neon pink locks, we were not fit to even go into that big discount store where people shop for groceries frequently in their pajamas. You know the one. We went out and launched the eggs we had so carefully colored the night before Easter.
It was therapeutic for the kids, because throwing eggs at your mom is pretty liberating.
It was therapeutic for me, because I had missed that event for so many years.
I had missed him for so many years, and I always will. I don’t know why I waited so long to throw eggs at my kids. It was like I couldn’t revisit those memories for a while. I finally did, and I shared them with my hipster kids.
It was perfect, not the shiny new clothes or the perfectly posed photos. The joy of spontaneity, the thrill of temporary pink hair, and the lack of perfection. That was a perfect Easter.