Glowing in more progress & improvement in our life – holidays are often a big marker for change.
For our first ever Easter as a family with Nathaniel, we were dealing with the throes of colic. It was also unseasonably warm. So throughout most of that Easter, my husband & I took turns rocking & comforting a sweating, overwhelmed howling colicky baby. Not to say that there weren’t some very sweet moments as well, but it was a very challenging day.
Easter 2011 – I barely remember it. Based on the few photos I took, I know it was warm and I know Nathaniel wasn’t walking or talking yet, although he had said a few words maybe once or twice and was cruising along furniture. I remember the general time frame, I remember the dress I wore and I remember Nat’s outfit well – although I thought it was 2012 that I had that dress & the pictures that I just looked at to refresh my memory just confused me. Nat was about 14 months old at that time, I believe. I’d post a photo from it, but they all include someone else who probably doesn’t want to be posted. Alas.
Easter 2012 – Nathaniel had been diagnosed a little over a month previous. We had just started to ramp up his therapy, but he still wasn’t talking – he had made a couple word approximations, briefly, & mimicked a couple isolated sounds. He was having frequent meltdowns and I was stressed out & depressed. We had recently adopted a dog & things weren’t going well with us trying to balance everything. But the Easter festivities went well; Nat was extremely good at a rather crowded restaurant where we had buffet brunch with my husband’s family. He was also excellent at my parents’ house – participated in the yearly Easter Egg Hunt for the first time ever & enjoyed it more than we could’ve hoped. But the evening ended with a meltdown, mostly because we left too late – I was enjoying my family’s company too much to remember that we had to leave. We then got home & I had to take the dog for a walk in the midst of discontent and I ended up sobbing throughout most of the walk with the awful feeling that I was some kind of failure, holidays would never be simple and I was very much missing the carefree days of being young and not having to be responsible for much of anything. I cried so hard, I ended up upchucking my Easter dinner & suffering from a major headache. I so wish it hadn’t ended the way that it did – because the good really did outweigh the bad that day.
Easter 2013 – this Easter. It was a mostly gray day, on the chilly side & raining by afternoon. So no traditional Easter Egg Hunt at my parents’. We also did not get to see my husband’s side of the family, due to a scheduling conflict. But despite all this, this was really a great Easter. We had an egg hunt at home for the first time & Nathaniel was fantastic & excited, carrying his basket & collecting all the eggs & then counting them out with me. He played with the plastic eggs off & on through much of the day, along with the Hot Wheels cars & little toy dinosaurs that were packed within. He made it through the entire day without any major tantrums or tears. He was good at my parents’ for dinner through dessert, although a little tired & overwhelmed at times. He didn’t want to eat any of the dinner food, but he let me put some of each thing on a plate in front of him, without getting upset when I gently suggested that he try it. But despite whatever not fun stuff was present for him, despite having a couple relatives present that he rarely sees and not having his cousin there who he normally would play with (due to said cousin being sick), he didn’t meltdown or cry – just came over to me for some hugs & softly said, “wanna go home now.” But each time, something happened to cheer him up, whether it was a chance to play with some apps on his uncle’s phone, to play with a new toy or the ever wonderful cake & candy available at dessert. He came home without one single tantrum & went to bed without a hitch. Now that he’s talking, he could say bye-bye to everyone, along with “Happy Easter.” He was even comfortable enough to talk off & on throughout the evening. When I kissed him goodnight & said, “Happy Easter, baby,” he said back to me, ever so sweetly, “Happy Easter, Mommy.”
It really was a very happy Easter.