Easter has snuck up on me, yet again.
I’ve written on this topic in past years, the way in which the date falls, the inconsistency which makes it hard to recall. Yet here we are again, days until the bunny hops through town leaving eggs astray and candy to be discovered.
Last year the realization of my littles not being so little any longer caught me a bit off guard. Gone are the days of taking them out to Kerr Park with baskets in hand the day before. Gone are the days of precious little Easter outfits, frilly dresses and bow ties. Gone are the days of hand holding before they’re let loose onto the sea of eggs scattered by Oakdale Kiwanis Club and the City of Oakdale Parks and Rec Staff and volunteers.
No one can truly prepare you for this void. The feeling you have when you wake and realize the last time was the final time.
Last weekend we attended a family wedding and had the good fortune of being surrounded by some amazing little people. For one of the nights, a few of the cousins shared a home rented through Air BnB. Saturday morning as we searched the TV for something fun to watch for our resident five-year-old, it hit me.
“I miss the days of hearing Disney Kids shows play in my home,” I said to Sam’s (the five-year-old’s) parents.
In truth we roll so quickly from one phase to the next that until that moment I hadn’t realized how much I missed seeing a wee one perched in front of the television absorbed by Caillou, Sesame Street or Angelina Ballerina. I’d equally forgotten how fun it is to engage in conversation with a five-year-old. The honesty they bring; the humor and the joy in every little thing in life.
The little people, I came to remember, they don’t sweat the small stuff – instead they celebrate it, all of it.
The irony of all of this was the college aged students we were surrounded by for the trip, as well as the weekend. Sharing laughs with them, offering opinion of their wedding outfit of choice and aiding with last minute wardrobe fixes.
In short, at one point I took a conscious step back and recognized the contrast as well as similarities between the five-year-old and the college kids.
The reality is, they still grab our hands on occasion. Their clothes sizes rival ours, as well as their shoes, yet behind those eyes a piece of that five-year-old still resides.
They still look to us for the reassurance that it will all be okay. They still count on us for the big stuff and yes, even a bit of the small stuff.
So as Easter Sunday approaches and I find myself surrounded by “kids” well past my hips and shoulders in size, I’ll do my best to stay mindful of these moments. The moments of this phase in their chapter book.
What I know for sure, is time will not stand still. It’s simply just a matter of time, before the five-year-old hand returns to mine not by way of parent but if I’m lucky enough – grandparent.
Happy Easter. Hide the eggs, eat the chocolate and pause in the moment as this one will never come again.
Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.