The holidays are always a tricky time for me. It’s been seven years now since the last meaningful contact with my parents. Sure, there have been a few necessary conversations that have happened, a few olive branches my wife and I have extended, and a few work interactions that have cropped up, but the end of the relationship was really February, 2010. In the early years, I did a lot of questioning and rationalizing, examining and re-examining what had happened, and my part in it. Seven years in, there’s a lot less of that. Thankfully, it also means that I don’t think about them every day the way I once did, like a kid probing an empty tooth socket with his tongue. But around the holidays, it’s tough not to remember some of the better times.
Easter was always one of the easier holidays. There were less family expectations, less pressure, less judgement. It was more about getting together, eating, and colouring eggs. Maybe that’s why it’s also one of the harder holidays for me to get through; at least with Christmas, there are enough nasty memories to remind me why the relationship went in the direction it did–why it was probably inevitable.
But as my kids grow older, and we begin to develop our own Easter traditions, I see a bit of an end in sight–the gradual erosion of my old childhood memories, replaced by the laughter and silliness of my own kids, as they hunt for Easter eggs and play Easter bunny. Is it selfish to hope that, as they grow older, they keep these memories even while building their own traditions? Perhaps. For now, I’m going to enjoy every moment of it, every giggle and smile.