When Brooke was small, I fell in love with a large white Easter Basket with pastel trim. I filled the basket with chocolates, puzzles, bendy bunnies, coloring sets and a plush Easter chick. On Easter Day, I would hide the basket, nestling clues in plastic eggs for Brooke to find. As the years went by, it turned into a family Easter Basket; I would find little gifts for each family member to enjoy. Candies and games gave way to Easter themed socks, glittery nail polish and floral scented bath sets and of late, gift cards to purchase things needed to start her life as a college student.
Last year, Brooke spent Easter with her father, coming home late in the day. She hunted for the basket with mix of sheepish eagerness; she was seventeen. It felt a bit awkward to me as well, and yet I thought I’d be loosing something if we didn’t do it, something I now realize had already been lost.
Each year, in the basket, there are a few hold overs from prior years, cute chick and bunny figurines, an Easter puzzle, and a game book she never used. They remind me of the many Easters we have celebrated and how we have grown and changed over the years. While Brooke used to love getting out the little toys to play, now she wonders aloud why I haven’t tossed them.
This year, I intended to fill the basket, and at the time I thought of it, Easter seemed weeks off; until last night when I realized it’s actually this Sunday, just one day away. This year, Brooke is spending Easter with her boyfriend’s family, and though we talked about getting together for brunch or dinner, we never really nailed down plans.
It was late last night when I realized I had forgotten the basket. I have, I suppose, time to go out today and fill it. I feel tired thinking about it, though. I have learned to tune in, when I get the sensation of tiredness, to determine if I am really tired, or if I need to make a change my thinking or behavior in some way.
I realized as I though about it, that Brooke is working hard to establish her independence, and I am working hard to honor that. Time has gone by so very quickly; at at times I forget that she is a young adult now, not a little girl. This year most all of our Christmas traditions fell away, which felt as if something precious had been torn away. Now I am trying to find the right balance between letting go and holding on.
Most of my friends have already been through this transition, and I am blessed to have their words of wisdom and encouragement. I know, in time, my heart will mend, we will find even footing and Brooke and I will come to relate to one another as two cherished friends rather than mother and daughter. I plan to hang on to that jazzy Easter Basket though, and maybe one day, grand children will find joy in the trinkets I have saved nestled in its pastel grass.