I love watching our little family traditions grow - some of them quite without me realizing they're happening. On Saturday morning, I was getting ready for a journey to the grocery store (the epic experience that is the day before Easter), and walked into the living room to find Calvin, Ezra and Adelaide in the 'shanty' (aka - the couch cushions with quilts draped over them), playing "Laura, Carrie, and Mary Ingalls". But the tone was serious - and I strained to listen to just what was going on in there, worried we were reenacting Jack's (the Ingalls' dog) death again or something equally Little House on the Prairie-tragic.
But another very important kind of meeting was happening in there. Calvin and Ezra were having a little sit-down with Adelaide - filling her in on just what Spring is all about, and what exactly she could expect on Easter. They were explaining how the little animals of the forest leave out treats for them to find. They even impressed me with a few "some people are celebrating this....and some people believe this...." that has me believing they do actually hear me when I ramble on about such things. And then in great detail, the description of the 'really special and beautiful' chocolate bunny they would have in their basket from Mama and Papa. (Perfect, I thought, as I mentally added those yummy Lake Champlain bunnies to the grocery list.)
But before I could get too comfortable in my preparedness, I heard "...and Mama makes us all springtime pants!" Wait, what? I do? A moment of panic set in as I racked my brain for just what was in the Easter baskets last year (a task more difficult than it should be for my 31 year old brain). Chocolate bunny, pencils, paper...yup, pants. And the year before? Hmn...wood animals, earth balls, watercolors....and oh yeah, pants. Oh gosh. That's a tradition. An accidental tradition, but a tradition nonetheless.
As the day went on, I think I slipped something subtly into conversation about how wonderful it is when things change, or how holidays can be different from year to year and new traditions are made. But of course, I was only trying to convince myself. It wasn't until later that night, with a house full of sleeping babes, and the last of the Easter preparations completed (including a massive search for the Easter baskets. Where could they go?), that I finally succumbed to the pant-making. I distinctly remember whining about it to Steve and a friend during that day...but as I started gathering the fabric, I snapped out of that. I mean, really now, how long will it be that my children are looking foward to handmade pants from Mama in their Easter basket? Not long, I am sure. I'll take it while I can. With joy.
Before you imagine the scene to be too idyllic, I should tell you that it wasn't as though they were jumping up and down excited about these little pants. I assure you, it was the candy first. Art supplies second. Mama - made pants a distant third. But they each did put them on, and sat down together like this - giggling and eating and playing. Soon the linen was covered in chocolate and sticky jelly bean slime, and in a few days, I am sure, they'll be handed to me covered in mud from outside spring play. A perfect tradition.
Oh, and the easter baskets? I couldn't find them. At all. So we 'made do' at the very last minute with some clementine boxes. I think we started a new tradition.