I'm not gonna lie, going to the grocery store last night kind of sucked. As soon as I walked in the door, there they were, lining the aisle.
Now, I have two very honest responses.
The first is my emotional memory response. I see that and I think Easter! What is Easter with a Chocolate bunny in your basket? I think about some of my favorite things to eat that only come out at Easter like Cadbury Eggs, or those malt eggs that you can lick and then put on like lipstick or facepaint. My cousins and I had hours of entertainment with that one at Easter growing up. My grandma used to put together an Easter tray instead of an Easter basket. That means she would purchase one bag of EVERY kind of Easter candy and pour it out on her largest platter dressed with green grass. And in the midst of that sugar coma stood the priced treat. Standing guard over all the small treats towered the Easter bunny. The whole day was spent visiting the Easter platter and picking out your favorite treats. But you had to get their early, cause everyone liked the same things, and usually the last candy left was jellybeans. I LOVED this tradition growing up.
I stood there for a second staring at the candy aisles and I thought, oh man this is our first joy free Easter. I made Halloween and Thanksgiving and Christmas work, but how in the name of all that is good can I recreate a bunny? My gut told me Easter was ruined and my children would live in want and feeling jipped forever every time Easter came around. I was sad and a little depressed.
Now I know that we have been living joy free for awhile, and the cravings are getting smaller, but I haven't suffered memory loss. Just because I don't crave a chocolate bunny and the other part of my mind understand how bad it is for you, I still remember how good they taste. I still remember the joy of biting into a cadbury egg and how absolutely delightful it felt to have yummy chocolate and liquid goodness melt in my mouth. Those memories ring in loud and clear when I walk the aisles of the store.
This too must be mourned.
The other part of Easter I remember is how I ended up eating half of my kids Easter candy. I remember going to the grocery store for our weekly list, but always sneaking a bag of my favorite candy to munch on while no one was looking. I remember the more candy I ate, the more I craved. I remember feeling a slave to the sugar. I remember feeling gross after eating so much candy and chocolate. I remember the countless Easters that I didn't fit in my dress because of my addiction. I remember starting to hate Easter. I remember fearing it because I wasn't strong enough to handle it. I remember guilt. Constant guilt and disappointment in myself for not being stronger. I remember needing to start over. Everyday saying, "tomorrow will be better."
So as I had my moment of mourning, I realized I was thankful, grateful and excited too. For all the things that will be missed, there are greater ideals and principles that can be embraced . On top of all my personal baggage with food I remember the gift I am giving my children as well. The gift of health. The gift of an Easter not based on the chocolate bunny. The gift of the real meaning of Easter.
So what will Easter look like for us?
Dying Easter eggs and going on an egg hunt.
Every year on Saturday before Easter morning we do an evening devotion where we are mixing together a special cookie that sits in the oven overnight. It is a hands on activity that incorporates all aspects of the Easter story and then the kids have a treat to eat the next day. I will have to do a run through to make sure we can make it allergen free.
Easter morning means a special breakfast of fruit filled crepes and fancy Easter clothes to be worn at church. It means coming home to an egg hunt and finding Easter baskets with a couple small allergen free candies, stickers, a new book and maybe a new drawing pad. Nothing more. It means sitting down as a family and enjoying our Easter dinner. It means taking a walk together. It means doing a family devotion with family snuggle time. It means togetherness remembering the gift of life we have thanks to the sacrifice of our savior and healer The Messiah.
No Easter candy tray with the protective Easter bunny keeping watch. No sugar induced melt downs. No fights on what candy we didn't want and did want. No hoarding candy or secret eating. No extra pounds and sluggish behavior.
Easter this year will be healthier and hopefully happier than years previous.
I may need to send Paul to the grocery store though for the next month. This maybe my hardest challenge yet. I do love Easter candy.