Easter can feel like a conflicting holiday for me. I feel pulled between celebrations of the Easter Bunny with the Catholic traditions, and a general recognition of spring and new life. Knowing that I am not autonomous puts the pressure on: with four little sets of eyes looking to me for guidance, how will our family celebrate?
I answer this question like I do many others: with my conscience. I listen to that still, small voice. Abby comes home from Catholic school and shares her understanding of Jesus at the dinner table, and we all discuss what it means for us. The younger girls see chocolate eggs hidden Easter morning and are enraptured with the idea of tasty treats. I brought the girls to a farm and a local Easter-Spring hybrid celebration, using both as opportunities to celebrate the end of winter, new life, and renewed hope that warmer days are coming.
I like this all-encompassing metaphor: the dark days are behind us, and will come again, but in the meantime we celebrate the hope of warmer, brighter days by giving thanks for what we have in front of us. The message of all celebrations this time of year is one of renewed faith, of promises delivered.
We can use this time to fill our tanks. We live out loud, share our selves and greet our neighbours after a winter hibernating with our family. We know winter will return, and we know hard times will come again. In these brighter, vibrant, happy days, we can celebrate what is here and now. We can take in the miraculous wonder of new life, in all its forms.
Concretely, this time of year is about opening our windows, spring cleaning, buying myself a spring dress online after yet another day of snow, replacing winter boots with rain boots, and planting our seeds in the kitchen. I get excited for days spent outdoors under warm summer sun, I plan road trips and adventures, I start running again, I talk to my girls about faith, and I answer their questions as they come up organically.
Finding a way to guide my girls through their own developing spirituality while I continue to work on my own is intimidating. Motherhood and guardianship require such guidance, so I will keep trying my best. I will keep leading our family's practices and faith discussions based on what feels right for us, where we are now. I will work from a place of openness, curiosity and following what my own relationship with God directs me to impart on my girls. Above all else, I recognize that I am tasked with giving these girls a foundation that will lift them up, give them comfort, offer direction, and leave lots of room for their own discovery as they grow.