Sunday, April 20, 2014

I Forgot to Bring the Camera to Easter Dinner

I was raised Catholic. Easter week-end was basically one really long Church service after another. From the time I was twelve or so, I was in the choir or playing the organ, so there was also a bunch of rehearsals and getting their extra early for Easter Sunday mass, which was often the day after the spring time change, making it even earlier. Once when I was in university, my parents were visiting and my mother and I were going to Good Friday mass, and a guy in our residence said he'd come with us. As we left the church three hours later, he exclaimed, with several expletives, that he was trying to expiate his Irish Catholic guilt by going to one service for Easter and had figured this would be the short one. My mother almost died laughing.

Photo by Matthew Sabo
When I went to McMaster and belonged to the university choir, the choir director asked me to join his church choir and picked me up for rehearsals and mass for a few months. I remember singing a version of "Were You There When They Crucified My Lord" that gave me the shivers one Good Friday, and made my visiting-again mother cry.

Sometimes I do miss the ceremony and sense of solemnity and order of being a churchgoer. I definitely miss the music. But mostly I'm comfortable with the path I've chosen. Today I felt a tiny sense of melancholy, mostly because my kids are at the point where, if we're not visiting younger cousins for Easter, colouring eggs and searching for chocolate isn't a big priority any more. We went out to Brockville to take Matt's grandmother out for lunch yesterday, and I was planning to drive out and bring her back to my mom and dad's for Easter dinner today, but she woke up today with a stomach bug. And then I forgot to bring my camera to Easter dinner.

But that's okay, because most of the best moments were auditory anyway.

My mother: "Should I say grace?" Eve: "I don't even know what that is!" My mother: "Bless us oh Lord and these, thy gifts, which we are about to receive, from your goodness, through Christ our Lord, Amen." My father: "And Jesus Christ, why don't I have a napkin?"

My mother: "Allison, don't you like stuffing?" Me: "I took some stuffing!" My mother: "Hardly any." Eve: "Look, she doesn't need a buttload, okay?" Me: "I raise 'em classy."

My mother: "This is really good, even if I have to say so myself." Matt: "You're only supposed to say it yourself if no one else said it, and everyone else has already said it." My mother: "I know, and yet I still feel like I have to say it myself."

Eve, eating her chocolate bird's nest: "I don't believe you that you made these last year." Matt: "She didn't make THOSE ones last year, she just made the same ones this year." Eve: "I MEANT that I don't remember them from last year. No one's dumb enough to think these ones are a year old." Matt: "Why am I getting all the abuse?" Angus: "These pitches aren't coming from nowhere, Dad. They're right down the middle. It's too easy."

Matt: "Eve and Victoria weren't at the park anymore when I went to get them, they were back at Victoria's. I looked like a predator sitting there in my truck scanning the park. Tomorrow there'll be a note in Moms From Barrhaven saying...." My father: "Balding man in dark glasses seen lurking near neighbourhood park." Matt: "....." Angus: "...right down the middle." My mother: "It's not funny. Things like that really happen." Matt: "Yes. Men go bald every day and it's tragic."

My father, as we stand up to leave the table: "Oh, here's my napkin. I was sitting on it." Angus: "I guess the phrase 'not up your butt or you'd know it' doesn't apply in this case?" Me: "I raise 'em classy." (But funny).

And our Easter was happy. Hope yours, faith-filled or family-centered or both, was too.

And here's a picture from yesterday:




9 comments:

Steph Lovelady said...

I may just show up at your Easter dinner next year. I hope you don't mind.

Nicole said...

I am bookmarking this to look at later when I need a laugh. "These pitches aren't coming from nowhere". Your family is hilarious.

I was feeling a bit weird yesterday. I was raised in a church-every-Sunday house and of course Easter was a big deal. Now we don't go to church and my parents were out of town so it was just the four of us. Don't get me wrong, it was nice, but felt strange.

Shan said...

We are kind of mostly regular church goers and there's a whole lot that could be written about that, but really truly it's the music that gets me. Each and every time. I miss it when we don't go. Also your dinner sounds awesome!

Maggie said...

I am just going to go to your family's Easter dinner next year. Hilarious.

As a lapsed Catholic I also miss the music and sometimes the tradition of mass, but allow me to soothe some of your melancholy about Easter with younger kids by mentioning that Husband and I got up at 4:00 friggin' a.m. to hide a the hard boiled, decorated eggs so when the kids awoke between 6 and 7 the eggs would be there.

Every year I wonder why the hell we (1) started the egg hunt tradition in the first place and/or (2) decided hiding actual eggs was the way to go instead of hiding the damned plastic eggs which can be done the night before without worry that they will go bad and poison everyone or be eaten by the dog in the middle of the night. At 4:00 am on Sunday, the idea of having older kids who no longer hunt for eggs sounded like the very best thing on earth to me, like even better than a three-way with George Clooney and chocolate.

Hannah said...

Maggie lives inside my head because HER COMMENT, EXACTLY, EVERY FRIGGING WORD.

I love that your dad was sitting on his napkin.

Pam said...

This post is very good, even if I do have to say so myself. ...BA-hahaha. I love your family and their sound -clips. I'm going to sneak in and sit in the corner and listen at your next family shindig.

Went to church (United) on Sunday for the first time in a year with just my parents. Ahhhh, so peaceful without stressing about my kids being inappropriate. The service was half music and nice. Just the right balance of tradition with current stuff for my liking.

PS I'd do a three way with George Clooney and chocolate. Count me in!

Kim said...

Augh, I miss you guys.

Easter was very laid back here and the only interesting thing that happened is that my FIL has taken to smoking a foot-long pipe, which makes him look like a gnome. I am the most unreligious of the Samsins and yet, sometimes, I like to think about going to a service. But I think what I mostly miss is MY church, from where I grew up, and I don't want to just go to some random Catholic church because it's here. You know? (Why look, I have a hangup! Who would have guessed.)

Maria said...

Would you like company next Easter?

Skyline Spirit said...

pretty nice blog, following :)