A Jewish Easter

When I married an atheist 17 years ago, I never imagined an Easter like this:

12:15 a.m. Husband retrieves CVS bags from car. For the first time in our marriage, they are filled with candy and plastic eggs, to appease our youngest daughter who has suddenly decided she wants to celebrate Easter–at least the chocolate part of it. I grumble while helping him stuff eggs with Tootsie Rolls and jelly beans–candy, I point out in a mean way,  she doesn’t even like. Feel vaguely guilty when I unearth the Rolos, my favorite. Eat handful.

7:30 a.m. The eight-year-old, usually a sack hound, wakes up only slightly later than she does on Christmas, until now the only non-Jewish holiday we’ve ever celebrated. Quickly finds eggs hidden around the family, starts eating chocolate.

9:00 a.m. Go running with two friends. Feel annoyed every time we pass someone who calls out cheerfully, “Happy Easter!”

11:00 a.m. Jacked up on sugar, my daughter decides she wants to have a lemonade stand–possibly my least favorite kid activity after bowling and Monopoly. I shlep folding table, cups, etc out to curb while she makes signs. Worry briefly that it will look like the Jew gouging the Christians on their holy day.

12:00 Kids look exhausted from too much chocolate. I go grocery shopping, shocked by the number of procrastinators rushing in to buy Easter lilies or a leg of lamb.

2:00 p.m. Daughter has sold $8.50 worth of lemonade. I promise myself I will stop and buy some whenever I see a kid selling it, even if it is Yom Kippur.

3:30 p.m. We head into Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts to see the New American Wing and the spectacular Dale Chihuly glass sculpture exhibit. Only one complaining child accompanies us; the other two have opted out entirely. Am gratified to overhear some museum visitors greet one another with the Hebrew “Chag Sameach”–Happy Holiday, Happy Passover.

7:30 p.m. Dinner: Ham and leftover matzah kugel.

9:00 p.m. Walk into husband’s office, find him licking chocolate off his fingers. An empty bunny box lies on his desk. “Whose bunny did you eat?” I ask, incredulous. He hesitates. “I …uh… I bought an extra one for me,” he says, busted. Funny, I didn’t notice it in the CVS bag last night. “It’s been so long since I had one!”

10:00 p.m. Eight-year-old walks in and says sweetly, “Thank you for hiding the Easter eggs, Daddy! Can we do it again next year?” I guess it’s the start of a new family tradition.

About Susan H. Greenberg

Susan H. Greenberg spent 22 years as a journalist for Newsweek Magazine. She now works as a writer, editor, teacher, and parent of three children, with whom she strives always to maintain a varnish-free relationship.
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