When the kids were really young, we used to have the best Easters. I'd dress up like Jesus and they'd dress like little Roman soldiers and chase me around the yard. Insert your own symbolism if you like, but I caution you not to jump to conclusions. Many families have their special traditions.
Mainly, the simple reenactment was just to mark the historical significance of the day and to remind the children about martyrs, intolerance and rash judgments. I think it worked.
To this day, we like to keep our holidays low-key. No sense making too much fuss. Better to quietly count your blessings — if you happen to have any. No? Just look a little.
If you have children, you have blessings. If you have friends, you have blessings as well.
If you have a nice new Ferrari, that's a blessing I'd like to borrow some Sunday when you're not using it.
If you have a dog, you have big-time blessings. Dogs are like super-grateful children. In fact, they're better than children, in that they never turn into sullen teenagers. One day soon, dogs will replace children. To walk through downtown L.A. is to wonder if they might already have.
I swear, there are restaurants in many American cities that require you to have a dog at your table … like a dress code.
It's the most wonderful, weirdest, almost spiritual sensation to take a mouthful of omelet just as some strange beast from another table decides at that very moment to lick the jelly from your bare ankle. Honestly, I've had first dates that went far worse.
We had dogs at our Easter table — that's a tradition as well. Brunch was the best. The little guy somehow exploded an undercooked hard-boiled egg in his hand, a comic moment in an otherwise somber celebration bathed in piety.
"You crack me up," I told him.
"I have egg on my face," he explained.
"We have the weirdest family," the younger daughter said with a sigh.
"I don't know how that happened," said Posh, who in decades of cooking, has barely bungled a single thing, let alone a hard-boiled egg.
Somehow we recovered from that in time to eat too much again a few hours later, including a kale salad that really wasn't half bad. The older boy grew it in the backyard: farm to fam. Much of what America now eats used to be considered weeds, though I didn't mention that at Easter dinner.
I've learned that I can't say everything that comes into my head, except at work. So many of our holidays are ruined when some little observation is taken the wrong way and someone else overreacts. There's almost a sport to it.
At that point, Posh usually locks herself in the bathroom and refuses to come out.
Knock-knock. Mom? Mom, are you still in there? Dad wants to know if it's OK to serve the pie?
This Easter was not without incident. After dinner, the Russian puppy cornered a helium balloon under a coffee table. She barked and barked, not knowing for sure whether she should kill the darn thing herself or just hold it at bay till police arrived.
I don't speak Russian, but the puppy's basic message seemed to be: "I've cornered this dangerous helium balloon. Someone grab a gun."
Evidently, they don't have helium, nor balloons, at the North Pole, where the little Siberian husky was born. She barked at it for almost an hour, till someone threw a dinner fork at the balloon. That's how we Irish solve most problems. We hurl things. Works about as well as anything.
Knock-knock. Mom? Mom, it's me again. Just so you know, the puppy got hold of the ham…
So, yeah, we're making a big point lately of counting our blessings, amid some current domestic challenges. Termites attacked the back porch last week, gobbled it like soft hot cheese. And the old clothes dryer finally gave out with a billion socks on the odometer.
Posh looked and looked to find a replacement that would fit in the custom cabinet. She finally found a very stylish little dryer — I think it's European — that may do the trick. It also doubles as a bread maker. Leave it to the French, huh?
Cost us $1,000 for the dryer/bread maker and $400 more just to run a new circuit. Then some component in the overpriced oven went out; that was 600 bucks.
Adversity is inevitable — like heartbreak, like bungled Easter eggs, like feasting termites. All inevitable. But we have much to be thankful for this spring, let's just leave it at that.
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