This year, I spent Easter alone. At first, that may seem like a sad state of affairs, but it truly was the greatest God-given gift. However, it didn’t come without some trepidation.
Several weeks beforehand, I talked with my husband about the possibility of taking both of our small boys out of town to see his parents while I had a stay-cation at home. (And when I say “talked with my husband” I mean that I growled the idea through gritted teeth, irritated by something or other that had happened that day with the boys.) Because of this, I don’t think I was really convinced that it would actually happen – at least, not anytime soon. But then, a trip over Easter weekend started to come together. I had work and church obligations already scheduled that made it impossible for me to travel that weekend….but it worked for everyone else’s schedule. So, before I knew it, this trip was on everyone’s calendar.
Then, the second thoughts began to creep in. I mean, what kind of mother intentionally misses all of the Easter hoopla? I was going to miss coloring Easter eggs, hunting the eggs, going to Easter church service together, having the annual family Easter Sunday photo, and Easter dinner. Maybe I should go, I thought. Then, God sent me another super-frustrating day with the small boys to convince me that indeed I did need to take advantage of this opportunity that was laid before me.
The day came, and after the whirlwind of getting everyone’s bags packed and last-minute potty breaks, all three of them were gone. I had never been alone in our house before without the responsibility of being a mom on my shoulders. Even when both boys are at school, my few hours of alone time still feels borrowed somehow. So, here I was. I didn’t know what to do with myself at first. It felt weird. And wonderful.
I took care of the minimal scheduled obligations I had over the weekend, but the rest of the time was spent completely by myself. I spring-cleaned. I had my favorite kind of pizza delivered. I cranked up the music. I fell asleep and woke up on my own timetable. I had some real quality time with myself, a person I sometimes forget to think about. I miss that girl, and it was good to re-connect with her.
I attended church on Easter Sunday morning. I wondered if the sight of all the families walking in hand in hand, getting ready to spend the day together would make me long for my little family. Instead, however, those sights truly brought me nothing but happiness.
By the time the husband and the boys came back home that evening, I was very happy to see them. I was content and ready to hear all about the Easter fun they had, without even a twinge of guilt that I should have been there too. I felt rested, somewhat organized and on top of things, and relaxed. I think this experience finally convinced me that, in order to be the best mom I can be, I have to be allowed to turn that part off every once in a while. When one becomes a parent, it is very easy to feel like a part of you withers away. I think it was fitting to have my own personal renewal at the same time as we honored Christ’s resurrection.