Sunday, April 4, 2010

What does Easter mean to you?

I know that for many, many people, Easter is a very special religious holiday. Goodness knows I've seen about ten people on my Facebook friend list who have status updates that all say something to the effect of "Easter is about our lord and savior...etc... and not about eggs, bunnies, and candy." I can respect that, and for those people, I'll avoid making comments about how much the kids enjoyed their egg hunt today, or how Jaymes has probably eaten his own weight in chocolate today.

However, I'd like to share with all of you what Easter means to me. At our house, Easter is about a fun, relaxed day. We just hang out in the backyard and enjoy the warm weather and enjoy each other's company. We cram ourselves full of ham, potatoes, and candy. It's just a day to make the kids happy, and to bask in their happiness. Nothing makes me happier than seeing my kids light up while they're looking for eggs or dying their hands purple.

So, how did we spend our Easter this year? It was a really neat one. As always, nothing went exactly as planned... Which is ok at my house. The cool thing about Easter this year is that this is the first time Jaymes has expressed interest. He has actually spent the last week drawing eggs, talking about easter eggs and baskets, and just being excited in general.

Anyway, we woke up early to the sound of Jaymes screaming at the wall. Ignored the screaming at the wall, in an effort to go back to sleep, but eventually realized that I needed to get out of bed and at least attempt to get things ready before the kids both emerged from their beds. I wanted to set up their baskets, and put out the candy filled eggs all over the front and back yard for the egg hunt.

Stumbled out of bed, attempted to get a bra on so as not to blind my neighbors as I bent over dropping eggs into the grass, and wandered outside. I don't actually remember much of that, so I may have still been asleep. But I did have a bra on. Really. I try to be a good neighbor.

Got everything set up, and tried to get trick my children into eating breakfast... Which worked with Jaymes. Sierra woke up knowing it was Easter, and she had only one thing on her mind: Candy. This is one of the very few days in the year that I'll let her eat candy for breakfast, so she took full advantage. Unfortunately, I stupidly left the chocolate bunnies outside on the picnic table in direct sunlight. By the time I figured this out, Sierra's bunny had melted into a sad little pile. I felt very bad.

The kids LOVED their baskets, and they loved the egg hunt even more. Jaymes actually understood what he needed to do, and he was 100% into it. Sierra was a little faster, so I had to redirect her to areas without eggs to give Jaymes a chance. This worked very well. I got some very nice pictures, and if my camera will stop being difficult I'll be posting them up here soon.

The rest of the day was spent sitting out back, enjoying the beautiful weather. The kids swam in their new pool, colored with sidewalk chalk, and jumped on the trampoline. Jaymes really impressed me with his drawing and writing. He has come such a long way. Not only can he write his name (spelled correctly, and reasonably legible) but he can also draw beautiful squares, circles, triangles, trains, and people. He's very fond of making long lines of squares, and when asked what he drew, will walk down the line saying "a square and a square and a square and a square..." He also started writing some numbers, including a PERFECT number four. Oh course, he did this on the brand new picnic table... But since it was with chalk, it wiped off easily.

Jaymes did not end his awesomeness there... Nope. On the way to Walmart, to get bread, I heard Jaymes saying something, so I shut off the radio and asked him what he said. He started SINGING the Baa Baa Black Sheep song. Now, I have NEVER heard Jaymes sing. He never sings. Sometimes he chants rhymes, but he doesn't sing. This time he SANG. I didn't even know he knew that song, but he did the words perfectly, and the tune was pretty close.

So I guess the point of this post is to say that I think it's great if those of you who consider Easter a religious holiday spend the day reflecting on the miracle of Jesus being resurrected... I know that's a big thing for you folks. But I spent my day reflecting on how incredibly blessed we are. Jaymes may have autism, and he may not be like all the other 6 year old kids in the neighborhood, but he is so smart and he has come such a long way. The child that people said would never talk or be able to function in normal activities managed to have a great day. He egg hunted, he colored eggs, he wrote his name, and he sang.

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