How I celebrate Easter now is what I feel like doing.
Last Friday, the Easter hols began in Merida, Mexico where I live. School closed for two weeks and the city emptied as families decamped for Gulf coast beach houses and far flung family visits. Merida is like Paris in August — beautifully empty, peopled with some tourists. It’s easy to get around and the restaurants are blissfully uncrowded.
I sat in Cafe Costco on Friday afternoon, watching as young women pushed their carts, overfilled with the goods of Easter and vacation necessities. Memories of so many Easters past, when I too planned and cooked large Easter dinners, painted the eggs, decorated and filled the Easter baskets, arranged bunches of flowers to celebrate spring. I recall cooking Easter dinner in my bathing suit (yes it is that hot at Easter in Yucatan), sweating, singing, worried about the chocolate bunnies melting.
Instead of being wistful at the big family life that is gone, I find myself grateful for the new freedoms I have. I had my chance at Queen Bee. The pressure of being responsible for holiday and family happiness is over.
And what a pressure and responsibility it is. When you are a young mother, you are devoted to setting the tone for holidays, to repeat them year after year, so that your children have the rhythm and understanding of each holiday’s rituals. This is how memories are made. As joyous as it all is, it is also exhausting. You know what I mean!
How I celebrate Easter now is all about what I feel like doing. Maybe someone will invite me and my only task will be to arrive with an exceptional bottle of wine. Or, I may decide to go all out, invite a crowd and bake the lamb. This year, I’ve decided to simplify. I’ll still paint the Easter eggs, because I love to do it, and I love the pastel colors in the Paas kit. But then I’ll swerve. I’ll make a fluffy Russian pirog, my beloved grandmother’s recipe, and serve it with an icy Prosecco whilst sitting by the pool.
Grateful for the past and grateful for the beautiful present.