Religious holidays can pose difficulties for new moms and dads. What will our traditions be? How will be balance the fun celebrations with the not so fun religious observances? How will we create in our children lasting memories of family togetherness and righteous teachings and behaviors that they will then pass on to their posterity? How do you balance the Easter bunny with the resurrection and not lose the message amidst the frivolity?
I have no idea.
So, instead of giving myself an early aneurysm, we just went with the flow this Easter season. Egg decorating, searching, and Easter basketing ensued, with the occasional gospel lesson mixed in.
The results? Well, I'll let you judge.
Early in the week, right before dying eggs, we had a lesson called, "Feed My Sheep." We talked about how we are all Jesus's sheep and he is our shepherd. We shared ways on how we can "feed" each other. I was afraid it might be a little too parable-y for the kids, especially when Scarlet spent most of the rest of the week asking me, "Mom, you're a sheep right?" But, we hoped something had stuck.
Before we searched for eggs in the backyard, we read the story of the resurrection in the New Testament kid's scriptures. Scarlet then asked us to read the story over and over to her whenever we had a chance. We felt pretty successful at that point.
And while they snacked on deliciously sugary treats, we read the story yet again. We then realized why we were reading the same story for about the 20th time. She picked up quickly on the fact that mom and dad would stop doing just about anything if she requested the Jesus story be read. When your child looks up at you with big brown eyes and asks to learn more about Jesus, come on, you feel like a sinner for even thinking of saying no.
"Umm, in the tube in the back of the truck. See it right there?"
"Yeah, right back there."
She looked really concerned about that, then asked, "Is Jesus back there too?"
After a moment of hesitation, I caught on. "No, Jesus went into the tomb, not the tube."
Now she has the whole Easter story down solid and has even made a few connections of her own. I got to the part about Mary Magdalene looking for Jesus in the empty tomb when she stopped me, looked very closely at Mary and said:
"Mom, Mary went to find Jesus and He wasn't there. And Mary... Mary had a little lamb. And, mom, we are supposed to feed the sheep!"
That's close enough, right?