Easter, for the Loftus', has always been about family. As kids, we sometimes went to church. And we sometimes got a new dress. But we always went to Grandma and Grandpa's and there was always an egg hunt and lots of chocolate and a big meal with many cousins and lots of energy. Holidays at my Grandma and Grandpa's house in Richmond Hill are some of my sweetest memories.
Easter, in particular, was always about equity. I remember rallying the cousins together and setting the ground rules. Everyone could hunt for easter eggs but all of the found eggs must be pooled and then carefully sorted by type and number so that each cousin, from the most skilled-seeker to the least skilled-seeker, all received equal eggs. When I recount this to my husband, he is flabberghasted that we'd take the time and go to such lengths. I don't even know how it all began, but it's one thing I love remembering about our Easters on Arnold Crescent.
This Easter weekend was spent in Peterborough. Our celebrations no longer involve my aunts and uncles and cousins. Instead, my sister and brother and I have become the aunts and uncles and our children have become the cousins. And my parents, though they are separated, decided to celebrate as one entire group this year.
And so we gathered at my Dad's house on the river. We sipped wine on the back porch while the three dogs raced around the back yard, while Cole toddled about picking up sticks and trying not to have them stolen by Frisbee or Cody. We passed seven-week old Isaac Jay from one loving embrace to another and smiled peacefully into the sunlight. Carmen made prime rib like I have never before tasted. We had potatoes and yorkshire pudding and Mark made green beans and Michelle made salad. Then, before diving into my mom and Carmen's pies for dessert, we all went out for a family walk along the path.
Dad and his new wife, Carmen, my Mom and her partner, Stan, set out first with the three dogs. Mark and I with Cole who was adamant about being held on my left hip. And then Mary and Ben, figuring out the most comfortable settings for the baby Bjorn and little Isaac. Big Jay (not to be confused with his name-sake, Isaac Jay) and Michelle, the newlyweds, piggy-backing and making faces so Cole would laugh.
At one point, my parents were far ahead of me on the trail.
And Mark, Cole and my siblings were behind me on the trail. And I thought to myself, this is a metaphor. My parents are where we've come from. And they used to be the ones trailing around car seats and high chairs and spit up blankets at Easter. They used to be the ones reminding us to say Thank You and Please in front of OUR grandparents. They used to be the ones looking at their own parents as they bounced a grandchild on a knee and wondering if they'd ever be as good a mom or dad as their parents were. And now it's our turn to really appreciate our parents as we walk in the shoes of parenthood and really truly learn about the challenges and joys it brings. And it's my turn to look at my mother as she easily burps baby Isaac or sings a song to Cole and remember that these are the moments that really matter.