Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Of Lists and the Easter Story

Jesse was out of town last weekend because his grandmother of 98 years passed away.  The girls in our family stayed home, and when I asked Hadley what she wanted to do on Saturday and Sunday she suggested we make a LIST of all the activities we could do.  I, in turn, had one of those moments similar to parents sitting in bleachers at a sporting event watching their kid do whatever she does to gain a point: I said, "THAT'S MY GIRL!" and did a little dance.

So over homemade chocolate cookies the size of our heads and glasses of milk, the girls and I made a list of things to do over the weekend.

One of the items on our list was: "watch 'think about easter shows' on Nick Jr."  To this, I asked Hadley what she thought Easter was all about.

"Easter eggs and flowers."

I should not have entered this conversation without a full script of what I would say.  Suddenly Jesus and my two religion profs at Calvin were sitting around our table as well and I could hear them saying, "Easter eggs and flowers, huh?  Whadya say to that, Callie?  Bet you wish you hadn't skipped out on a few of those classes to go to Crisan's Coffeehouse.  Hope that Nutty Irishman drink was worth it."

Here's what I told Hadley: "Actually, Easter is about Jesus."

"Jesus? I thought that was Christmas."

"Well, yea, it is, but at Easter we celebrate Jesus too."

"He has another birthday?"

"Sort of.  Easter is more about Jesus giving us a chance to be in Heaven with Him."

"Heaven?  Aren't you dead when you are in Heaven?"

"Yes." (Jesus and my religion profs have now slammed their heads on our dining table.)

"I don't wanna die!  I wanna stay here!"

"I know, I don't want to die either."

"What about Goofy?  I don't want to leave Goofy!"

"Hadley, I think Goofy can go to Heaven too." I have to say that despite this complete failure of a conversation, I wasn't too disappointed in myself to note that GOOFY is who she's concerned about leaving behind.  Um, hellooooo?  What about the woman who GAVE YOU LIFE?

Just sayin'.

Well, that was the end of that conversation.  We finished our chocolate chip cookies and went on to something else.  The next morning, we made Easter eggs.

We also decorated paper Easter eggs with stickers of the pastel variety.

And we made heart shaped sugar cookies for a playdate a couple days later.

So we got a lot accomplished over the weekend.  Everything was crossed off our list.  However, that conversation between me and Hadley lingered and I was feeling pretty bad about the way I had handled it.  Then on Monday afternoon Hadley and I were playing "The Green Eggs and Ham" game and Hadley asked me if I'd ever had green eggs and ham. 

"Actually, I have had green eggs and ham."

"You did?"

"Yup. I ate them one time."


"When I was a teacher.  Did you know I used to be a teacher?"

"No." (Hadley's now looking at me like I might look at Jennifer Aniston if I'd met her.)

"It's true. I used to teach, and when I was a teacher I had a great friend named Miss Steen.  She was a Kindergarten teacher and her class was reading Green Eggs and Ham.  Well, her students wanted to try green eggs and ham so she made them for her class.  They liked them so much they wanted all the teachers in the school to try them, so we did."

"You really tried them?"

"Yea!  But I was scared.  I don't usually like my ham and eggs green.  But Miss Steen was such a good friend so I tried them.  I don't think I would have if someone else had asked me to."

"Was she your best friend?"

"I liked her as much as you like Maya."

Hadley smiles and says, "I would probably try green eggs and ham for Maya."

Then Hadley asks me to tell her another story.  She wanted to hear about her "getting born" story.  So I tell her what I know is her favorite part of October 23, 2006.  I tell her how she cried and cried until Jesse came over to her while she was being cleaned up and said, "It's OK, Hadley.  Daddy's here."  And then there was this tangible silence.  People say that babies can hear voices while in the womb, but feeling this truth is completely different then reading it in What to Expect When You're Expecting.

I say, "You knew Daddy's voice, and you stopped crying."  Hadley smiles knowingly.  If there ever was a Jesse's girl, it is Hadley.  They are two peas in a pod.

I like lists for several reasons.  I like the act of writing with a certain type of pen on a certain type of paper.  I like the clarity my mind has when I begin naming tasks to be completed.  Someone asked me once how I relax and I told him, "I make lists." 

But part of this love of list making has grown from the fact that I am slow to process things.  I don't like to be caught off guard, and so I use a list to help myself with the stuttering or the fumbling I might do when I don't know the plan.

The trouble is, I never wrote "Talk to Hadley about Easter" on my list.  I haven't been praying for wisdom on this topic.  I don't look for books on the subject. But sitting with Hadley and talking about my good friend Rachel, and the day Hadley was born I started to wonder maybe that's a little what Easter is about.  That despite my faults, God showed me and Hadley grace anyway.  Sure, Hadley and I didn't talk about sin and death, and the resurrection.  We discussed friendship and birth, and green food.  And maybe I'm just making myself feel better, but I'd like to think Jesus might've met Hadley where she was that afternoon as she thought about her own friendships, her relationship with her dad, her own story.

Or maybe I need to write Nick Jr and request some "Think about Easter" shows.


Becky said...

I think you did a pretty darn good job. It's a start, and you can pick the conversation up again another day. No need to overwhelm the poor thing. And ps. your eggs were awesome. Sad occassion but looks like you guys rocked your weekend alone

Mink said...

that's funny that you wrote this because when naomi declared this morning that easter was about pink eggs, i felt the need to tell the story too. i thought i had done an okay job but when clifton came home, she retold it as follows: "there were bad guys and Jesus was on a line." awesome.

Jenny said...

I can't imagine the day when Will starts asking me these questions..I think I will have to defer him to Daddy as he knows so much more than me! Such a fun age though...I can't wait tell Will really gets into decorating eggs and cookies!