I ran around town frantically looking for an Easter dress for Michaela last Monday.
I never wait so late to find her dress, but I didn't realize until the last minute that the dress I planned for her to wear was too big.
So there I was, dashing like a maniac through the mall the week before, comparing prices and colors and sizes and grumbling about the lack of variety.
Finally, I found a dress at Sears. And it was on sale.
Exhausted, I went home and took Easter inventory.
Beautiful pink dress with a satin bow and sparkles and a coordinating sweater. Check.
Ribbon and bows and barrettes for her hair. Check.
White shoes with a princess heel. Check.
Oversized Minnie Mouse Easter basket. Check.
Toys and candy to stuff the basket. Check.
Practicing her lines for the Easter play at my parents' church. Check.
Arrangements for her annual . Check. with her Aunt GiGi
I sighed with relief. Until it dawned on me that I had failed to do one important thing -- explain to her the reason for the holiday.
I go all out for Michaela's holiday celebrations. Every single one is celebrated in a major way. I'm setting grand traditions that I am sure I will one day regret. And after every holiday, I promise to scale back and be more sensible.
You see, we didn't celebrate most holidays when I was growing up. All we got for Christmas, Easter and was a lecture (or sermon) about why we didn't celebrate those days. They were too commercialized or not biblical or not economically sensible.
But one thing I can give my parents credit for is that they made us more aware of the , so to speak.
Now I must pass that on to my daughter.
I'll have to make it clear to her that Easter is not about pretty dresses because some little girls don't have new clothes to wear.
I'll have to explain that Easter is not about eggs and candy because some parents don't even have money for basic food supplies let alone chocolate bunnies and Honeybaked Hams.
I'll have to explain that while we make a big fuss about the material aspects of Easter, it's really about God, a man who loved her so much that he died for her thousands of years ago.
He didn't just die. He was crucified, nailed to a cross, beaten and stabbed.
And it wasn't that he had to die. He chose to die. In fact, he planned to die.
I don't want to take the fun of Easter for my baby girl. I want her to eat her candy and flaunt her new dress and enjoy ham and sweet potato pie. But I don't want her to forget the sacrifice Christ made for her.
She can't comprehend some of the details of the Easter story, but she does understand what love is, so we'll start there.
Often, when I tell her that I love her, Michaela says,"I love you, too, mommy".
And then I say, "I love you more."
And she says, "I love you more, mommy."
And so on.
But for this occassion, I added: "And Jesus loves you most of all."