One of the saddest days of my life was an Easter Sunday—many, many sunrises ago when I was young enough to still believe in the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and all those other fictional characters that lent a little magic to our childhoods.
I woke up excitedly at the crack of dawn and ran to the window facing our backyard. I pulled back the curtains, expecting to see the Easter Bunny’s handiwork—colorful baskets propped against trees, pastel eggs nesting in shoots of green grass and giant chocolate bunnies peeking out from their boxes. What I saw, instead, was the end of my innocence: My father running around like a crazy man, hiding eggs before his children woke up and witnessed his festive deception.
Since that day, Easter has always triggered a reset button in me; a time to check in with reality and make any necessary adjustments. Like New Year’s resolutions reborn in spring. What have I accomplished so far this year? Will I be able to wear a bathing suit this summer? Am I on track to have the best year of my life? Are my daughters happy and looking ahead to their futures?
Good Lord . . . I’m exhausted already, and we’re only one-third into the new year! So this Easter, I’m taking a much–needed vacation. When I pull back the curtains Easter morning in my hotel room, I’ll be looking out into beautiful, downtown Seattle. I’m meeting my oldest daughter there, who is considering a nursing program at the university.
I have never been to Seattle, so thinking about visiting this exciting new city makes me as giddy as my inner child on Easter morning. Much like I remember my children running around the back yard hunting for eggs, my now-grown daughter and I will be running around that great seaside city collecting experiences for our own memory baskets. We plan to shop, tour, walk—A LOT—and even dine at the top of the Space Needle for the best view in all of Seattle.
But lest you think that this Type A mother has gone completely wild and carefree, I will confess that my spontaneity is somewhat calculated. See, I’m also going to Seattle to take it for a test drive, as there is a chance that later this year, I may be moving there. It’s up to my youngest daughter, really. If she decides to live with her father in Southern California for her senior year, my nest will officially be empty and I will be free to roam where I please.
For once in my life, I like not knowing where I’m going. This Easter, my spirit feels renewed by unlimited possibility. And instead of nibbling carefully, methodically and deliberately at that chocolate bunny that could be a metaphor for my life, I may very well go all in and just bite its head off, first.
Lynn Armitage is a contributing writer and enrolled member of the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin.