I didn’t even realize I needed a break until I got one.   I told Harper Lee the other day, “Geez, Spring Break is almost over, and I haven’t done anything.”

In her typical Harper Lee way, she said, “Except have fun?”

Well, yes.  I did have fun… now that you mention it.

Isaac placed 2nd overall in his Cub Scout Pinewood Derby in March.  He’ll be headed to Regionals in a couple of weeks.  What can I say?  That kid has loved cars since he popped into this world. 

He also loves building.  Right now, he is continuing his work on Lego City.  We may have to move some furniture out in order to accommodate this ever-growing project.

King Kong, 1933

Part of the Lego City was entered into an online Lego Contest.  The theme was Classic Film.  Isaac built an Empire State Building and ordered a gorilla from Amazon.  David O. Selznick’s 1933 team of special effects folks had nothing on Isaac.  Of course, we didn’t really meet some of the requirements, like being 14 or over, but we entered anyway. 

Just because.

Nothing says Easter like a black eye.  This was from the corner of the playground gate at church.  Games of tag can be rough.

And then it snowed.  A weird, cold Thursday afternoon that gave us one last chance to work on art in front of the fireplace.  It was winter’s last hurrah… I hope.

But the rest of the week looked like this.  New life.  An Easter kind of world.

We visited Asheville to see my parents and my grandmother, and I took the kids to Vance Birthplace, one of my very favorite field trip destinations as a child.

I loved this kitchen when I was little, and I still do.  This is my dream kitchen (You know, with a gas stove over in the corner and a strategically hidden microwave somewhere– oh, and a refrigerator.  But, you know, other than that…).

I do envy the logs and pottery.  This reminds me of Merdie and Pap. 

Love.

Snow one day and bare feet the next.  This is what I miss most in the winter– the freedom to walk without shoes.  Notice the dirty feet.  This is what happens after an hour of chase through damp spring grass.

Heading down to the spring house.

Picking wildflowers.

I have no idea what these are, but they smelled wonderful.

This photo sort of sums up what I love most about being a mom.

Some people say that they feel a letdown after Christmas, like there’s so much build up that when the day actually arrives, there’s a sense of disappointment.

When I was younger and my mom said these things, I thought she was crazy, but then I sort of got it as I grew older.  Somehow, I’ve managed to keep that from happening at Christmas.  I’ve made a concerted effort to enjoy the days leading up to Christmas as much as the day itself.  Christmas, for me, is about an entire season, and though I’m tired after everyone leaves on Christmas Day, I don’t feel disappointed or let down.

My let down in generally after Easter.

It starts with Ash Wednesday.  My expectation of self-reflection and contemplation.  The idea of Easter as a holy, sacred time. 

And then the festivities begin.  The butterflies and egg dyeing and egg hunting and bunnies and chickens and hams to bake and services to prepare and prayers to write and stories and programs to put together.  I love my work as the chair of our Christian Education committee, but Easter is not the time for quiet and contemplation if that is your job.  It’s the time to get stuff done!

And, inevitably, as I sit in my pew at the end of it all and listen to the choir sing the “Alleluia Chorus,” I feel sad.  Dang!  I missed it again.

Don’t misunderstand me.  I think the sweet springtime traditions of childhood are important, and I am very happy to help provide those things for my children and others in the church and community.  But like so many of our holidays, the activities often reach a fevered pitch and we spin into a hectic frenzy of celebration and sort of forget the real stuff, the nitty-gritty, the quiet beauty of what it’s really all about.

So it is often after Easter that the real meaning of the day takes shape for me.  It is then, when the lilies have been gathered and taken home and the butterflies have flown away, that I find peace and quiet and true celebration of the gifts I’ve been given.

It is in the exhausted but happy bedtime snuggle between Harper Lee and Isaac on Sunday evening that I can whisper, “Thank you” and really feel it.

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