Real quick after you have kids you realize...my job is not to "nurture" or "encourage" or "cultivate." My job is...to not fuck up these kids any more than I have to. Let my issues end here. These kids will be fine...without my baggage.
Easter this year was storybook but as I've pointed out...more Grimm Brothers than Dick and Jane. The Easter bunny forgot the little kid...which I covered...but then when we pulled up into the grandparents' yard there he was. The Easter Bunny. Dead. Chewed up. All over the driveway. Rabbit parts after a German Shepherd has finished with them.
You stand in the checkout at the grocery store and surreptitiously read the magazine covers on display. "Walk off 10 pounds." Every week. "Organize your home." Every week. "Perfect leftovers." Every week. "Easter Surprises." Well, I got THAT one covered!
We had family in from...five states. I think we fed 35 people. We had the best time EVER. But I keep looking at the pictures and y'all...you are missing it. Easter/family holidays are NOT about the covers on the magazines. Easter, at least in this neck of the woods, is about dead Easter Bunnies and bee rescues. About no deviled eggs because the relatives in charge of THAT particular chore got sidetracked on Saturday night, and I'm just hinting that it might have involved happy things. Easter is about The Egg Toss which does NOT have anything to do with COOKED eggs. Get in line.
The relatives who grew up in Atlanta and Orlando are in awe. How COOL is this for a holiday?
My dad will be 80 years old next year, he had a stroke two weeks before this and that's him in the cap. That's me shaking bees out of my shirt, but wearing my pearls. Should I have an allergic reaction? I'll look good on the gurney.
We were sitting outside, hunting eggs and eating ham when someone realized that there was a hive of bees swarming in a tree at the edge of the yard. So my dad goes and gets the man who lives next to us (that's still half a mile away), who is a YOUNGSTER at 76, and they pull the little pick-up under the bees in the tree and set an empty hive on the roof of the truck. THEN, they crawl up in the truck and up on the roof and take a saw and proceed to saw the limb off the tree so that it will dip down onto the top of the empty hive. The limb that has a swarm of relocating bees hanging onto it. Nervous bees. Bees with no home. The plan was that the limb would droop onto the hive and the grateful bees would crawl into it and reward us with honey. That was the plan.
Truth be told, we only had three stings between us. Mr. Neal, the neighbor, had a sting on his hand but HEY...YOU'RE SAWING ON MY LIMB AND I AM A TRANSIENT BEE. This is not smart. The worst sting was on my dad's EYELID. That was pretty the next day.
Check out the German Shepherd who KNEW there was a problem, so he jumped up into the truck. You know...he might need to cuff a bee. Being a German Shepherd and all.
When it was all said and done? The bees moved into the hive. They buzzed around a while and then the next day? My dad was over by the house when he heard this enormous humming and out of the hive came a perfectly-shaped funnel of bees.
And they left. No joke.
The relatives are all planning NEXT Easter. They're bringing friends. I baked EIGHT DOZEN homemade rolls this year and I don't know how in the hell I can do more. The truck/four-wheeler rides were filled UP (we have an awesome 400 acres) and maybe we need a hovercraft.
But I keep looking at my kids and thinking..."You know, you just MIGHT be president. Because I'll put your variety of experiences up against ANYONE you know. Bar none."
I just need to keep these latent OCB impulses in check.