Easter is approaching quickly. Whenever this time is near it reminds me of one of my favorite childhood memories. It was Easter Sunday. I was in fourth grade and my brothers were in high school. Easters before this one were usually pretty formal. My mom would have me help her and get the good China out and we would have our ham dinner with all of our usual fixings. Sometimes my grandma, aunt, uncle, and cousin would be there too.
But, this Easter it was just my immediate family.
It started out like any other Easter. My mom woke up early to put the ham in and to start making all of the sides. I was in the kitchen peeling the potatoes or setting the table. My brothers and dad would be in the family room watching tv or maybe go out for a round of golf.
On this particular Easter day, it was absolutely beautiful. The sun was shining, the wind was gently blowing, it was in the mid 70's. It was perfect weather.
We had all of the food ready for our Easter dinner. Everyone started to gather in our dining room to go through the motions of our yearly Easter get together, when suddenly, my mom said, "We should take this food and go on a picnic." At first I thought she was kidding. But, then my dad looked out the sliding glass window and said, "That's a great idea!" My brothers and I looked at each other like we just entered the twilight zone or something. My family was anything but spontaneous. Let alone the fact that my mom and dad were agreeing on something that was going to be spontaneous.
So, we packed up the food, packed up some games and headed to Ox-Bow park, which was about 5 minutes away.
We got there, found a picnic table and ate our Easter dinner. It was laid-back and actually fun. We laughed, told stories, played games, played catch and went on a hike. I remember thinking for the first time, "So THIS is how a family should act!" It was great and I felt, for the first time, the FUN of dysFUNction.
To be honest with you, I really do not have many great childhood memories. I'm not exactly sure why this one sticks in my head, but I do think it has something to do with my family actually spending some quality time together and just enjoying each other's company. This didn't happen very often, but it did on this Easter Sunday and it is something that I will cherish forever.