When the phone rang before 8am on Easter Sunday, I knew it was bad news. Nobody rings at that time for any other reason. Least of all on Easter Sunday, least of all when we’ve just altered the clocks and it’s actually 6.57 in the ‘old money’.
It was mum saying she wasn’t well. There’s been a lot of viruses going round and it seemed like she’d picked one up. She wouldn’t be able to ‘do’ Easter.
Easter at my mum’s house is set in stone for us, as well as my sister and her family. My mum has always done Easter at her house. She makes a nice lunch and does a little Easter egg hunt in the garden for the kids. The hunt is always ultra-fair – with four identical small eggs at each location – one for each of my kids and one for my niece. Blink and you’ll miss it, but it’s an Easter tradition.
My mum would give us the food she was going to cook for dinner and the bits and pieces for the Easter egg hunt, so we could recreate Easter at our house.
My younger son was up first and, although he was sad that Grandma wasn’t well, he took the news OK. My daughter pulled a grumpy face, threw Teddy (always a bad sign as he is her most treasured possession) and then burst into tears. Easter should be at Grandma’s house. Not at our ‘boring’ house.
But it couldn’t be helped. Easter was going to be at our house.
I agreed with my sister that we would host the all-important Easter egg hunt, which would include my nephew for the first time.
Somehow my kids (and my parents) assumed we would also be cooking for my sister and her family too. I’m pleased to say my sister hadn’t got this impression, as we hadn’t agreed that. My kids then proceeded to make me feel really guilty and ‘selfish’ for not cooking for my sister and her family. Er – why would I have to?!
My husband took on the task of hiding the Easter eggs and chose the front garden, which was a really good call. I tend to forget about the front garden, as we spend more time in the kitchen and dining room and have a patio door out onto the back garden. We don’t look at the front garden much. But there’s tree stumps and a rockery, which make perfect hiding places for little eggs. My husband loved hiding them almost as much as the littlest members of the family loved searching for them. My niece and nephew had a great time hunting, and my kids helped them out.
My sister and her family stayed for a little while, then went home for their lunch – not expecting us too cook! As we hadn’t expected to be at home, we didn’t have much in apart from stale bread. It would have been fine as toast, but my husband decided we should go out and find something to eat. I thought everywhere would be closed at Easter, but it turns out it wasn’t.
We drove to a nearby town and found a Subway open. It was the quietest, friendliest Subway imaginable. My eldest, being a teenager, refused to have Subway and insisted on going to a chip shop (I didn’t think chip shops opened on Sunday lunchtimes full stop, least of all on Easter Sunday). While we pondered whether to eat our Subway in or out, he appeared with his large portion of chips, and the friendly staff said it was fine for him to eat them in with us. It was such a nice gesture and much appreciated as the wind was very cold!
We went home and my husband and son had some unexpected extra time to carry on with their garden project. Having taken down a greenhouse, they’ve pulled up lots of slabs and levelled off some ground ready to sow grass seed.
And then at the end of the day, we had our roast dinner, using my mum’s ingredients.
It wasn’t the Easter Sunday we’d expected, but it was OK. My kids had got their eggs, they’d seen their cousins and they’d had their Easter dinner.
And I’m sure we’ll be back at my mum’s next Easter!