Dawn O Watson/CNBNews Contributor
Easter was a big deal when I was a kid. We went to the church in which my mom was baptized, confirmed and married, and in which my brother and I followed suit. We were obligated to go to church and Sunday School every week. Since our house was directly across the street, we couldn’t exactly tell folks we were sick when all they had to do was look through our windows and see us watching television.
Anyway, Mother awakened us on Easter morning at 4:30 AM so we could be the first family to get to the sunrise service. We dressed in the dark and then crossed the street and greeted the other disgruntled kids and their frustrated parents that straggled in. We knew we beat them there. I don’t know why that was important. But it was.
The minister always looked like he dreaded the fact that there were two services that day, one after the other. From what I understand he was really cranky at the later one and made some kids cry by telling them that they should have come to the early service. The fact that they were little kids and didn’t drive yet didn’t count.
After the early service we all went downstairs for the free breakfast. For a few years the kids were supposed to serve their elders but after too many coffee-scalded laps and syrupy Easter suits they just did it the regular way, with children running around not eating and getting hungry later when their parents had to cook for them. Meanwhile the parents juggled paper plates filled with five pounds of pancakes.
When we got home Mother would start making dinner. Every year we had a ham and canned vegetables and a terrible powdered sweet potato product called Yamboree. We didn’t have a dog so we had to actually eat our canned green beans and Yamboree without sneaking any under the table unless we thought we could get away with grinding it into the rug.
After dinner we were allowed a piece of candy from the basket Mother made up from bargain-basement sweets made by people from other countries. Then, we all took naps. When we woke up most of the day was already gone so we just got our pajamas on and went back to bed.
The day after Easter I would go back to school and reap the benefits of candy-laden lunches that other kids’ moms had packed because the kids were sick from eating too much chocolate the day before.
My childhood wasn’t the best, but it made me see the humor in most situations. Viewing the world differently has given me a way to find the light in a dark situation. And for that I am thankful.