My mom used to get me dresses, and bonnets, and even little white gloves each Easter. It was a big deal in my Roman Catholic household. My Dad used to stress how this was the most important holiday for us, but I recall rolling my eyes and thinking, "no way Dad, Christmas is way better".
We had to give up something for Lent. One year, I tried to give up apples. My mom looked at me like I was a fool, and suggested maybe I try sacrificing potato chips instead. One year my brother said he was giving up brushing his teeth. Again, that did not fly well. We were given a small, blunt tipped, nail at religion class, and told to always keep it in our pocket, to remind us of Jesus' sacrifice for us. I used to feel the smoothness of the nail in my pocket, and be completely freaked out by the image in my head. Even if I wanted a potato chip, one touch of that creepy nail in my pocket turned my stomach, and my desire quickly turned to horror.
After years of being raised in such a "holy household", as I like to call it, complete with a picture of Jesus on our freezer, whose eyes, I SWEAR, followed you all over the room, made me rebel a little when I was of age, and decided to not go to church. I had gone EVERY Sunday, since I could remember. My family was not one of those "Christmas Catholics",as my mother would say, shaking her head disapprovingly as we pulled into the overflowing parking lot on Christmas morning every year. We went to everything. I mean, EVERYTHING. Holy days of obligation, stations of the cross, we even reenacted the Last Supper. I remember my Dad cracking matzoh and the crumbs going all over the table. We got to sip real red wine, and I thought that was pretty cool. I felt that I had enough church in me to last a life time.
Since I have sort of abandoned the Catholic church, I sometimes feel, now having my own little girls, I am cheating them out of something. David and I don't like some of the teachings, particularly, the exclusion of certain groups of people, as we teach tolerance, and Gods love for every life, not just who the Church thinks that God would appreciate. My husband is more agnostic than anything else. Yet, I battle. With what I grew up with, and what my girls aren't growing up with. We are spiritual, and we pray as a family. Some days though, I am unsure who we are praying to.
So, my inner battle continues. I will purchase the chocolate bunnies, despite it being an expense that doesn't thrill me. And we will dye Easter eggs. I have my free (thankfully!) ham to pick up at Shoprite for our Easter dinner. Yet the small girl, all dressed up in my white gloves and bonnet is still inside me somewhere. The same one that rubbed that nail in my pocket, every time a potato chip came into my line of vision.
Aways reminding me of sacrifice. And how what you learn, you really do live.