The here and now and a bit of way back then

I relived my journey to 40 and found there's so much more to say

Chocolate eggs and beer gardens

I remember when the Easter long weekend was one spent lazing around doing not much else than hoping for sunshine and a beer garden. 


There would be an Easter egg from Husband and one from Nana Moon. Just the right amount of chocolate to last me the weekend as a hangover pick me up.


I had not realised that the Easter weekend social calendar could almost be as busy as Christmas when you are responsible parents of small children.


I am not one familiar with the hunting of Easter Eggs growing up. Neither was I presented with my Easter egg from relatives on the correct day but the fact they tried and got me some chocolate eggs was quite something. 


So I have to admit it’s really only since #1, 2 and 3 have arrived that I’ve had a better education in some of the fun traditions that come with Easter. Not to mention the fridge full of chocolate that they have acquired from the four Easter Egg hunts they’ve been on these past few days.


Though tropical weather is not conducive for the traditional Easter Egg Hunt for several reasons. 

  • Your Easter Egg Hunt cannot be a long leisurely affair, hence no joyful trail of clues to ponder over.
  • Your chocolate goodies must be hidden mere seconds before the Easter Egg Hunt is to begin.
  • If your Easter Egg Hunt is not over within three minutes then it is probably best to draw a line under it and leave your melting chocolatey treats for the enjoyment of the army of ants who have already hunted down the source of sugar before your children have.  
  • The said chocolates we have in the fridge are no longer egg or rabbit shaped. But it’s chocolate all the same.

As children get older, the Easter Egg Hunt becomes more and more like a battle of the strongest. #2 and 3 didn’t get a look in during one Egg Hunt as all the eggs were swooped up before they had even set foot into the arena. So it was just as well they had four attempts at it. 


And #3, in her second year of active participation is all about the chocolate. Whilst the older kids are marvelling over what they’ve added to their hoard, she is quietly tucking into them.  She’s got the right idea.


And so, as you know, this weekend is not all about sunshine and beer gardens. Chocolate and Easter Egg Hunts. Tea parties and barbecues.


Once again, as part of my parenting repertoire, I attempted to explain there is more to Easter than just collecting chocolate eggs. I should have given this more forethought or referred back to Husband with it being more his area of knowledge. But it just sort of popped into conversation on our drive to school. Good job really as at least there was going to be an end to the conversation when we arrived at school. 


So we started talking about Christmas being the celebration of the birth of Jesus which they still remember and there’s a warm glow around us talking about that. Quickly extinguished by the follow up that Easter celebrates the death of Jesus. 


#2: You mean Jesus dies when he’s a baby.

Me: No, no, he’s a grown up.


#1: Like a really old man.


Me: Not an old man. But very much a grown up.


#1 and 2 do not like talking about dying at all. Only allowed if you are older than 100. Just as well as how could I have possibly explained the dying on a cross part. That would appear very cruel in all senses.


#2: But why does he die?


Me: Well you know about God? God sent Jesus to Earth to look after the people a long, long time ago. 


#1: How did God make the earth? What did he use?


At this point, I can feel my explanations beginning to unravel. I see the turning for school. I stall a lot in my answers. Then we quickly finish happy with Jesus coming back alive on Easter Sunday but only because He is special does he come back before they think everyone else can. 


Thankfully school has already explained all about the Easter Bunny. Maybe next year, someone can give me a bit of help with explaining everything else. 


Hang on, what are the Godparents doing? 


They say never discuss religion and politics. Quite so.


Happy Easter!


  







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Is the Easter Bunny for real?

#1 has been very dubious about the Easter Bunny this year.

It’s quite a tricky one when #1 declares the Easter Bunny can’t be real and it’s just someone in a costume when faced with an Easter Bunny like this. What could I possibly say to that? At least Father Christmas on the whole looks like how he’s imagined to look.

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How could he have figured that one out? Especially when out for lunch on Easter Sunday there’s a bright pink one hopping about. #2, who is not a natural with all things animal was quite simply petrified of a Bunny two and a half times her size. I would be too.

We’ve had a lot of fun over the Easter weekend, though in Singapore only Good Friday is a public holiday. The children have been on four Easter egg hunts. The fridge is full of chocolate, a situation that needs to be rectified by the grown ups. They’ve decorated eggs and made pictures.

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They’ve had a lovely, colourful time and I’m appreciative of the effort that friends have put into turning their gardens into egg hunting grounds and hosting Easter parties at their condo. Easter with all its spring colours is a pretty time of year.

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At home we do our own egg hunt in the living room. #1, 2 and 3 are banished to their bedroom as we scatter the eggs here and there. All egg hunts in the tropics have to be a quick affair before the chocolate melts or the ants get to them. Then we give them a countdown and out they come with their baskets and fill them to the brim. It’s one of the things we really enjoy watching them do. They get a lot of fun out of it and I particularly like watching #3 get involved even though she hasn’t a clue what’s going but she’s one of the first to get tucking into an egg wrapper and all.

There’s a part of me that struggles with celebrating only the fun side of Easter. The religious side is a lot more serious to explain than the arrival of sweet baby Jesus at Christmas. And it seems to come about so quickly that we need to talk about the departure of Jesus when he was just born a few months ago. It’s a very complicated concept for young children. Especially at an age where the question of death and dying seems to pop out a lot from their young minds.

So back to the Easter Bunny. #1 gets up on Easter Monday waving a chocolate egg in the air, happy to announce to #2 that he does exist because he came in the night and left them both an egg.

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Spring has sprung upon us

It’s funny how February is only just a few days shorter than every other month of the year but it seems to go by so much quicker. Like a reward for the long, dreary endurance test of January.

So here we are into March already with a lighter spring in our step at the fore.

Imagine I’m not in Singapore for a moment. (It’s been ‘spring’ over here for some time now and we are actually in the midst of a drought.) Spring brings the promise of longer days and sunshine. Of colour and the removal of multiple layers of clothing. Of lambs frolicking in fields and onto dinner plates. Except mine, Nana Moon never invites me for Sunday lunch if it’s roast lamb.

Spring is the season of optimism as we shrug off the weight of winter and the long comedown of Christmas.

It’s time to start noticing the small things again. The rise of small delicate crocuses, a welcome sight after long months of empty landscapes. Marvel at the golden hue of daffodils, it is St David’s Day after all and National Pig Day. Look out for the welcome greeting of sunshine jostling for space in a less cloudy sky.

Before long there’ll be fields of beautiful bluebells. Perhaps not always full of native bluebells which is often lamented but still a sight to behold though and with over 1,300 bluebell woods nationwide go find your nearest one at http://www.VisitWoods.org.uk/bluebells. Definitely one of my most favourite things to do. I remember seeing our wedding venue, Blackbrook House, Derbyshire (www.blackbrookhouse.com), looking so pretty nestled amongst all the wild bluebells and the bluebells at Kew Gardens, London.

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It feels good to re-awaken the senses. To shake off what we shouldn’t be doing with all the New Year’s Resolutions made way back when, all but forgotten, and start thinking of all the things we should start doing, whatever that may be.

As much as I love autumn for the cosy months I envisage ahead. I love spring for the hope, warmth and smiles it brings to people’s faces. Everyone feels a whole lot cheerier when there’s the promise of the great outdoors to look forward to and that can only be a good thing.

So get outside in search of the March hare, eat pancakes (4 March), give something up (again? 5 March), celebrate working women on International Women’s Day (8 March), drink Guinness and do an Irish jig with a leprechaun on St Patrick’s Day (17 March) and spoil your Mam on Mother’s Day (30 March).

March is shaping up to be quite a busy month.

Before that though, I need a good night’s sleep. After mentioning Common Cold had come to stay earlier this week, I seriously underestimated its influence. It seems being almost 40 has no bearing on my ability to resist a drink in hand when you’re having a long overdue catch up with friends. But just even the one glass was one too many and I forgot I wasn’t really feeling completely well and took a ‘funny turn’ but I was in the company of extremely caring, good women who looked after me and took me home to Husband. A special thanks to you all.

Sometimes you’re so busy doing, especially with young children in tow, that you often belittle your own needs or are distracted from what your body is telling you. So I’m going to advocate this spring that we all look after ourselves a whole lot more, make more time for a bit of what makes you ‘blooming’ happy and really embrace springing forward.

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