Between starting a new job, Passover, and Easter, this was most definitely an interesting and somewhat crazy week. Rather than allow it to completely overwhelm me, or worse bring unnecessary worry to the entire family, I decided to embrace the challenge and attack the week head-on.
Through a combination of new and old traditions, I made a conscious effort to create what would hopefully be long-lasting positive memories. The goal was to find the right balance between normalcy (like a family Seder) and excitement (like making fuzzy Easter eggs) so we would all end the week focused on the fun we did have, as opposed to the things we didn’t get to do as a result of travel limitations, access to friends and family, and worrying about the short and long term.
I’m not going to lie, the lead up was tough and required quite a few hours of research and planning, but the execution and hours that followed, despite not being flawless, were worth every second. The main activities commenced on Wednesday, the first night of Passover. Rather than gathering all together at my Aunt’s house like we do ever year, our family made arrangements to hold our first ever “Virtual Seder”. While it was hard not being together, especially knowing my grandmother was alone in Florida after canceling her trip up North, it was really nice to have that sense of “somewhat normalcy” as we read through the Seder books we’ve been using since my childhood. Everyone’s kids were really well behaved and outside of a serious “sun issue” glaring through our window, we made it through the service with no major hiccups. While this is a Seder I’d prefer not to replicate, it’s nice to know that should the need arise, we have a tried and tested Plan B.
Easter was a bit tougher as we’re currently living with my Mom in her townhouse due to renovations at our place. This meant we had limited access to our yard, which we normally use for our Easter Egg Hunt. This was really when my planning kicked into top gear; from the moment the boys woke up until well after dinner, I tried to keep them all busy with Easter activities that culminated in a scavenger hunt to lead us back to our own house where my husband had set out an Easter Egg Hunt utilizing the limited yard space we had available. The scavenger hunt worked out really nicely because it helped extend the day; a nice change from previous years where we've just run outside within minutes of waking up. Instead, we were able to sit down for a nice home cooked breakfast, followed by some activities and the scavenger hunt, before finally commencing the egg hunt.
Watching the kids laugh and play was the best feeling ever. Other highlights from the week have included the discovery of Spikeball (the family’s new favorite sport), as well as an amazing new recipe for homemade dinner rolls with cinnamon butter; which everybody, even the kids, were obsessed with. Each of these will surely be added to the Easter itinerary for the years to come, no matter where we are or what’s going on.
The moral of the story is that while things are in no way the same, maybe it’s actually for the better. Different challenges and situations allow us to think outside the box and give us the opportunity to do things we wouldn’t normally do, all the while creating new family traditions and memories. If you want to try this for yourself, go ahead, learn a new game, try a new sport, or dust off those old cookbooks and attempt a new receipt; it really doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you get out of your comfort zone change things up a bit and create some long lasting traditions you are sure never to forget.