“Extra family is coming for Easter brunch,” I announced.
“That’s great!” said Girl one. “I’ve been planning an art, fun and games day as a special surprise for Easter. I was hoping there would be more people.”
“Wow,” I said. I changed the subject.
“You guys will like your Easter surprise,” I said another day.
“You’re going to like my surprise too,” said Girl one. “Want to see the tickets I made?”
“Sure.” Sigh. Did I have to pretend something which involved art and standing up, during time I reigned over (includes all holidays), was fun?
“Art fun and games day! money gos to poor countries,” they said.
Not for spelling lessons? I thought.
“Tickets are five cents. I’m selling art after. I’m raising money.”
“Sounds nice. But it’s ok not to raise money on Easter. You can just have fun,” I said.
“I know I don’t have, I want to. I counted and I can raise $1.30 for poor countries.”
Easter came. Brunch was eaten. Girl one gave us our tickets and announced our teams. She was either oblivious to my reticence or simply confident in her ability to overcome it. She directed my team to the craft station, which Boy two was running for her. She ran the games station. She would tell us when to switch.
At the craft station, we were given twigs, tiny dried leaves, and cedar leaves. We were shown a model that used these elements to make a mock fire with a cooking pole above it and fake meat roasting from the pole. We were to follow the example and make our own. There would be a prize.
The craft took a few minutes at best, but honestly, it was fun. Their ingenuity in creating a craft from nothing delighted me. Building a fire, and adding flames and meat was hardly stressful.
At the game station, a large lid from a plastic tub had been inverted. At each corner of the improvised game board, a player was given half of a plastic egg. Each player in turn, flicked their plastic egg at another player’s egg. If they knocked it into the hollow ring around the lid, that person was out. The last egg standing won. Girl one encouraged those who got out and complimented those who survived. It was simple and it worked. It was fun.
I thought about it a lot afterwards. Why had I been so sure she couldn’t do it? She promised me everyone would like it. Why didn’t I believe her? What if it’s not just her? What if generosity of heart means believing that all kinds of people can do things I don’t expect? Should the benefit of the doubt be free?
An Easter story because love didn’t need my belief to pursue me with its gift. An Easter story because for a moment love cracked me open, slipped past what I thought I knew, and whispered in my ear.
“Keep the door open, there’s more where that came from.”