Monday, April 5, 2010

On Easter our youngest Grand sat on my lap...

...atop a little hill surrounded by her sisters and Aunts and Uncles running around doing the silly egg hunt I put on each year...regardless of the fact that most of the participants are now pushing 30 years old.


Some of them have taken on the task of egg-hiders and some remain egg-hunters but each year we have lunch at my parents and the day concludes with the egg hunt at a neighboring school that has green grass and trees for shade.

This yearly ritual is a tradition I find myself unable to give up... I don't know if it is stubborness on my part but I really believe that when you let something special go, you may not always get it back.

Yesterday as the sun shown its golden spring light on all of us, this sweet little girl looked at me with her big blue eyes and put her head on my shoulder. "Oh Gwamma," she sighed, "this was my best Easter ever! EVER!"

My Mom and my husband were standing close by when she made her declaration and they smiled at both of us with fond eyes.

What neither one of them could know is that I wasn't really sitting there on that hill with them in that moment.

As soon as our sweet Morgan said those words to me I was transported to another Easter egg hunt many, many years ago.

That Easter egg hunt was at my beloved old farmhouse in Ohio.

Our house had been crowded with company all day...children running up and down the stairs, cousins playing, relatives eating and laughing.

At the end of the meal I went outside to hide eggs for the children.

And everyone gathered to watch all the little ones as they scrambled through our big yard looking through the hedgerow just starting to bud out with the promise of lilacs...running around the smokehouse and down toward the apple trees edging the little creek at the bottom of the yard.

When the hunt was over the children were laughing with delight.

I asked all my older relatives to go back inside.

They were puzzled but I told them I had a surprise for them and that they weren't allowed to peek.

With the help of some of the children I re-hid all the eggs and then I invited all the relatives to come outside.

My parents were there, along with some of my Mom's sisters and brothers.

The oldest was my Aunt Fran. Aunt Fran was a serious woman. She was kind but she rarely smiled and I hardly ever saw her laugh.

At the time she would probably have been in her late 70's.

I gave all the "grown-ups" baskets and told them there were eggs hidden in the yard so that they could do an Egg Hunt, too.

Most of my relatives knew I was fairly silly about things like this and after a few token arguments I did the classic "one, two, three, GO!" and they all scattered half-heartedly around the yard.

But then something in the group changed and they all became excited.

Aunt Fran headed determinedly off with her cane...her walk slow but steady...and I saw her gray hair bob around the corner in enthusiastic pursuit of eggs to fill her basket with.

I watched from beside a huge, old buckeye tree just unfurling a haze of spring growth from tender green buds. It had gotten a bit cooler as the sun slanted down lower but the light was golden and pure... much like the light that shone on our Easter Egg hunt yesterday.

Watching the older generation scurry around laughing, talking, teasing and shouting with their success, was contagious. Even the littlest kids watched and laughed from atop the hill.

As all the baskets were filled, the happy hunters came and joined us by the buckeye tree.

The last one up was Aunt Fran, walking slowly with her cane clutched tightly in one hand...and her basket filled with brightly colored eggs in the other.

She wasn't smiling.

She walked toward me and for a moment I thought she might yell at me... but then her face lit up in a huge smile, her usually dim blue eyes became radiant and dancing with fun.

She looked like a child in her joy.

And she said to me, "This was my best Easter ever!" Sometimes, with certain people, I can see the child inside of them as clearly as if there were truly a child standing in front of me.

And maybe this is part of the reason I still cling to things of my youth. Are we ever really grown-up at heart?

And if we let go of the things that gave us joy as children, doesn't it make us old? And tired? And less able to find joy in simple things?

I don't know if this is true for everyone but it is certainly true for me.

And you know what?

The sun is shining brightly out this morning. The air is all fragrant with the scent of orange blossoms and sweet peas.

And I know we all have things to go!

But I think there is still enough time to play a quick game of freeze tag, don't you?

Tag!!!! You're it!

post signature



68 comments:

Julie Schuler said...

That's a beautiful story. It's a great thing, when you can reach the child in someone. Growing up makes you realize that we are all just very, very grown children, some people just don't want to admit it!

LuLu Kellogg said...

Oh Jenny...the picture of you with your Grand is my favorite! It would look great as a black and white.....send me your email address and I will capture the picture off your Blog and change it to black and white for you (my treat!)

Love,
LuLu♥

LuLu Kellogg said...

Ooops...forgot to send you my email address...
coastal.sisters@verizon.net

LuLu♥

LuLu Kellogg said...
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LuLu Kellogg said...
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MrsJenB said...

See? You get it! You get why I am so into things that could technically be construed as being childish. Why I asked for a Barbie birthday cake from my parents a few years back (never did get it...), why I am okay with the thought of just coloring or blowing bubbles outside on a nice afternoone, why I laugh at my husband as he takes off like a shot when he hears the ice cream man coming down the street. And as we sat there with our cones on the porch, an older gentleman who lives across the street laughed and said "Aw, that's for kids!". And we both just shrugged. I'd rather be a kid anyway. Because as you said, when you allow your heart to get older, life isn't worth as much as it once was. You're to tired, too rundown, to really enjoy the things that deserve to be enjoyed.

I'm so glad you shared this with us today!

Melinda Cornish said...

I love this story, just love it...........

Pondside said...

Beautiful - I miss my grandchildren so much at holiday time - we skype, but it's never enough. Yesterday we spent the day with my aging parents - and it was wonderful. Not the best Easter ever, but darn close!
Don't ever lose that ability to find joy wherever you are.

Bumpkin on a Swing said...

Dadgum Jenny, ruined my mascara again. Aunt Fran! God bless her.
Love you........

Flat Creek Farm said...

Ok, Jenny, I'm up for the challenge. Next year we just might re-start our Easter egg hunts. What a beautiful story! -Tammy

Kim said...

The happiest adults in the world are the ones that refuse to totally grow up. Seems like I have tears in my eyes a lot when I read your blog- you are so gifted with your stories Jenny and this one really touched my heart- how lucky to have generations old and young tell you how happy you have made their Easter- you are such a special woman ♥ Happy be-lated Easter to you!

Katherine ( Katie) Corrigan said...

What a joyful blog. Sending wishes for continued happiness, Katherine

Julie Harward said...

I so agree...I love being a child again with my grands...It always brings such joy and peace. I'm so glad you had a nice Easter day..me too. :D

Theresa said...

Oh what a heart-warming story from years ago! Love it that your Aunt ended up smiling and enjoying the adult egg hunt! Oh my goodness Jenny, the picture of you and your granddaughter is SO darned cute. Sweet smile on your face! Hugs to you dear friend and I'll play tag with you anytime. I am still a kid at heart and don't ever want to lose that "little kid" feeling!

Have a blessed day!

mrs. c said...

Sometimes I feel like we share a brain! I feel EXACTLY like you do about holidays and any day I spend with my family.

Jeff put this quote on facebook and it sums up how we think! Of course I think everything is a miracle
"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is." - Albert Einstein

mrs. c said...

Sometimes I feel like we share a brain! I feel EXACTLY like you do about holidays and any day I spend with my family.

Jeff put this quote on facebook and it sums up how we think! Of course I think everything is a miracle
"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is." - Albert Einstein

mrs. c said...

Sometimes I feel like we share a brain! I feel EXACTLY like you do about holidays and any day I spend with my family.

Jeff put this quote on facebook and it sums up how we think! Of course I think everything is a miracle
"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is." - Albert Einstein

mrs. c said...

Sometimes I feel like we share a brain! I feel EXACTLY like you do about holidays and any day I spend with my family.

Jeff put this quote on facebook and it sums up how we think! Of course I think everything is a miracle
"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is." - Albert Einstein

mrs. c said...

Sometimes I feel like we share a brain! I feel EXACTLY like you do about holidays and any day I spend with my family.

Jeff put this quote on facebook and it sums up how we think! Of course I think everything is a miracle
"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is." - Albert Einstein

mrs. c said...

Sometimes I feel like we share a brain! I feel EXACTLY like you do about holidays and any day I spend with my family.

Jeff put this quote on facebook and it sums up how we think! Of course I think everything is a miracle
"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is." - Albert Einstein

mrs. c said...

Sometimes I feel like we share a brain! I feel EXACTLY like you do about holidays and any day I spend with my family.

Jeff put this quote on facebook and it sums up how we think! Of course I think everything is a miracle
"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is." - Albert Einstein

mrs. c said...

Sometimes I feel like we share a brain! I feel EXACTLY like you do about holidays and any day I spend with my family.

Jeff put this quote on facebook and it sums up how we think! Of course I think everything is a miracle
"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is." - Albert Einstein

mrs. c said...

Sometimes I feel like we share a brain! I feel EXACTLY like you do about holidays and any day I spend with my family.

Jeff put this quote on facebook and it sums up how we think! Of course I think everything is a miracle
"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is." - Albert Einstein

mrs. c said...

Sometimes I feel like we share a brain! I feel EXACTLY like you do about holidays and any day I spend with my family.

Jeff put this quote on facebook and it sums up how we think! Of course I think everything is a miracle
"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is." - Albert Einstein

Nancy C said...

Jenny, this is so beautiful. I adore it, and I thank you so much for helping me see the child in everybody.

Ms. Anthropy said...

I'm afraid I've lost my inner child, but enjoy yours so very much. For some darn reason, I need to start making sure to keep a box of tissues by the computer.

Terri and Bob said...

I think you have articulated very well why I am an elementary school principal. I cannot let go of my inner child! Last night I had to coerce my husband into flying a kite with me over the lake. Dang, it almost took the fun out of it! Needless to say, I had a ball. He's learning, too.

Holly said...

What a wonderful, delightful post!!!

I love Aunt Fran!!!!

You, my dear, are a memory maker! A giver of great joy!!!

thanks so much for sharing!!

Beeutiful by Design said...

I loved your story. Last year I did two games for the adults in addition to the egg hunt for the kids. I was really hesitant b/c I thought they would make fun, think it was stupid, but they ATE IT UP! I think they had more fun than the kids - have a great week!

Emmy said...

This was beautiful! And what a wonderful gift you gave to your Aunt. And you are right... we all need to let the kid in us out more often.

Julia Christie said...

Jenny,

Thanks for your kind comments and stopping by! I love this post! I am always embracing the child within (or more often than not OUT in my case) and encouraging all around me to do so too. For my sweeties 44th birthday last year I got him a whole slew of nerf guns and it took about 10 seconds for him to turn into a ten year old and start chasing all the kids around the house! Ya gotta love that...Now nerf wars are a regular feature at our house and he is the ringleader. Thank you for sharing this story...Brought a huge smile to my face.

Smiles and looking forward to following!

Kathleen said...

Great story, Jen! We had our egg hunt and then walked down to the Bay for a Beach walk..not always warm enough the beginning of April, but it was perfect yesterday. A little teaser..the cold will return!
Gkids are the best!

Lourie said...

What a beautiful memory!! And it's true, we need to play and have fun. That being said...you better run! ;)

Nezzy said...

Absolutely! I remember an Easter long ago where my mother fixed my Granny Walden and Easter basket. When mom handed Granny the basket her eyes welled up with tears as she said, "thank you....you know, this is the first Easter basket I've ever had." Ya just never know, do you???

Have a blessed sweet Jenny!

My name is PJ. said...

I've always thought the best gift you could give anyone is a memory and this story epitomizes that.

As I read it, I felt like I was 10 years old, sitting under one of those shade trees, listening to you tell it. That's how good it was.

"And if we let go of the things that gave us joy as children, doesn't it make us old? And tired? And less able to find joy in simple things?" I'm happy to say I'll never know because I'll never let go.

Thanks, Matlock.

grammy said...

Such a good post (o:
I will never forget the Christmas when my Family and some friends went Christmas Caroling in my neighborhood. My 92 year old neighbor cried and said it was the nicest thing anyone had ever done for her. Some times it takes so little to make a big difference.

I ran around with the kids in a bumpy grassy area yesterday and twisted my knee. It is only painful to go up and down the stairs (o: Yikes

Aunt Amelia's Attic said...

Awwwwwwwwww, what a great post, Hon!

I'm happy for you now, and then.

:-)

Aunt Amelia
Doris said we are over taxed, as is. I'm with Doris!

JDaniel4's Mom said...

Beautiful post! Beautiful memory!

Tony, Jimi, Nicki, Joey, Ryan and Kaycee said...

Jenny...oh my friend...that was a great story. So glad you had so much fun yesterday as well as years ago.
Your family is so lucky to have you...and I am so lucky too because you are MY friend! :)

Dory and the Mama said...

What a wonderful story!

Busy Bee Suz said...

This is beautiful Jenny.
We are all kids at heart...cause if we lose that, what else is there to live for??? Nothing!!!

Maggey and Jim said...

Wow, Jenny, you really can make the emotions well up in a person.. Such good writing.. All true too.
Hugs,
Maggey

Ms Sparrow said...

What a heart-warming story. Thanks for sharing.

Dawn said...

What a wonderful story Jenny. This one made me cry, and yet I see the post before it has a PKW. I better wait to read that one! Sorry I haven't been by to visit lately. I do reall enjoy your blog but am having trouble keeping up with everyone!
Hugs,
Dawn

Alison said...

Now that I have a grandson I can so relate to this. I have taken to doing some of the goofy things my daddy did with my kids or with me when I was young. Makes me feel like he is there with us

gayle said...

Such a beautiful post with so many wonderful memories!!

Prairiemaid said...

Wonderful memories of sweet people. Awesome post, Jenny!

ain't for city gals said...

Oh Jenny, how glad you found me again...just for this story you told...it made me cry for the good times your family has shared...so happy for you.

Golden To Silver Val said...

Hi Jenny....thank you for visiting me and commenting. I hope you return often. I'll keep the coffee hot and the porch light on for ya. Your site is wonderful...I have you bookmarked and will return every time you post. Keep smilin'.....its contagious.

Aunt LoLo said...

That brought a tear to my eye! So, so well written...really beautiful. Thank you for sharing!!

(And thank you for stopping by LoLo Craft! Your comments made me smile.)

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...

You told this so beautifully! You so perfectly tied the past with the present! I love the sentiment and can so imagine it so vividly in my mind through your gift of story telling!

Blessings & Aloha!

Unprocessed1 said...

Mo and Aunt Fran are just adorable!

Velvet Over Steel said...

I think this is the Best Easter egg hunt story ever! So Great of you to give so many people beautiful memories! :-) I hope I am half as good a grandmather as you obviously are! You are giving me lots of great ideas. Now I just need some grandbabies!! :-)
Hugs,
Coreen

Velvet Over Steel said...

I think this is the Best Easter egg hunt story ever! So Great of you to give so many people beautiful memories! :-) I hope I am half as good a grandmather as you obviously are! You are giving me lots of great ideas. Now I just need some grandbabies!! :-)
Hugs,
Coreen

Brenda said...

Oh Jenny, what a great story. Thanks for sharing. B=)

Country Dreaming said...

Loved the story!
It's soo much harder for adults to be kids again--we are supposed to be serious and adult at all times.
It's amazing the fun one can have if they still have a wee bit of child left in them!

Have a great one.

Melinda

KK said...

How precious. I want to hunt Easter eggs too!

Bits-n-Pieces said...

oh my goodness..your Aunt Fran gave me goosebumps as I read that!! What a wonderful memory!!
(and what a precious picture of you and your grandgirl!)

I'm glad you had such a wonderful Easterday!!
xoxo

RNSANE said...

It sounds like you had a truly memorable day. I loved hearing your story of Easter past as well. Some of these special traditions really need to remain in place!

beedeebabee♥ said...

Hi Jenny~ You are SUCH a beautiful writer! I just loved this little story!...Your Morgan is a little doll, I love the photo of you both together...My favorite aunt is my Aunt Fran! She has a very easy smile still, at 94!...I'll always be a child at heart. That's the fun side of me!!! Thanks for such a lovely post! xo Paulette

Nadeen said...

Ahhhhhhhhhhhh! You are the creator of fun, Miss J. Just so glad it was a fun Easter for you and the kids and kiddos. Miss A in the tree - what life in her! How'd you get an egg up there??? :)

Little Miss M: My best Easter ever....in all of her 3 years to compare to! How ucte.

Paula said...

Jenny, what a sweet story...thanks for sharing it:)
A happy childhood last forever doesn't it?
ps..my pan came today.. I LOVE IT!!
xo
paula:)

Andrea said...

that's awesome Jenny! Both the then and the now!

Andrea said...

that's awesome Jenny! Both the then and the now!

CherylK said...

That's the sweetest story! (I'm so glad I discovered your blog!)

"Cottage By The Sea" said...

Oh, you're killing me with this one. Your granddaughter is so precious in her darling little Easter dress and bow and with her head resting lovingly on your shoulder. Then you had to go and tell the story of your Aunt Fran and THEN a picture too. I'm still teary eyed. That's what I'm hoping for when I get Aunt Fran's age. Someone fun like you to make my eyes light up and make everything old new again. You rock!

JDaniel4's Mom said...

This post is featured as one of my great posts of the week.

http://www.jdaniel4smom.com/2010/04/great-posts-i-came-across-this-week_10.html

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

I saw the lead-in and clicked on this post.... It's very touching, and I think you're right, play is good for every generation.