If There’s Chocolate, It Must Be Easter

Hoppy Easter! Hope your day is filled with chocolate and eggs and family and fun. I’m just happy that my two daughters are grownup and in their 20s now and I didn’t have to spend Easter Eve hemming little smocked dresses and desperately trying to concoct matching  hair bows. Not that I ever was so unorganized and frazzled that I waited until the last minute to finish Easter dresses. No! Not me!!! Oh, OK. Definitely me. The best thing about Easter, of course, is being with family and friends. (The availability of unlimited chocolate goes without saying.) My family gathered this past weekend to celebrate the joint birthdays of our oldest — my dad, turning 77 — and our youngest — my nephew, turning 1. Photo ops! But with young ‘uns, you never know what you’re going to get. Three-year-old grandson Capt. Adorable is good for about two shots of holding still and saying “cheese,” but then he’s done with you and on to more important things. So I just click away, sort through everything later and hope for the best. Such as this shot of the Captain and his cousin, the Birthday Boy. (We think they’re cousins, at least — the Captain’s mom is the Birthday Boy’s daddy’s niece. Is that right?) It took me a couple of times before I realized that both boys are intently studying the backs of their books. Must be a family trait. And I love the shot with most of my favorite girls in it — daughters and sisters-in-law — and my two absolute favorite little guys. Even though it wasn’t Easter, it was wonderful family time. There even was plenty of chocolate. But, thankfully, no hemming of dresses.


My son-in-law — 2-year-old Capt. Adorable’s daddy — is an artist and a high-school art teacher, which is why one of the Captain’s first words was, “Draw!” This also is why the Captain’s bathtub is an ever-changing gallery of 2-year-old-friendly art, thanks to crayons mades especially for bathtub scribbling. And as you can see, when there’s an artist in the family, the bathtub art gets elevated beyond the average non-artist-person’s scribbling. My son-in-law is one of the most talented and creative people I know — I mean, how many kids can take a bath surrounded by Elmo and “Goodnight, Moon”? There is a downside to living with an artist, however, according to Older Daughter. “When we three do Play-doh,” she said, sighing, “I make a dog. You know, a dog. With four feet and ears and maybe a tail. Then my husband out-Play-dohs me and makes a perfect West Highland White Terrier with a name and everything.” But she’s one up on me since I can’t even make a dog. I’m very good with snakes, though. And, luckily, the Captain so far is happy with all skill levels.

Book Clubs

Harry Potter and the Socerer's StoneIn the spirit of trying new things, I’ve joined a book club called “Reliving Harry.” It’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallowsfor folks who’ve read the Harry Potter books already but want to reread and discuss from a long-range we-know-how-it-ends perspective. What a great idea! We meet every month at the library and already have done the first book. The group mostly is 20- and 30-year-olds who read the books as teenagers and still can’t get enough. There were a couple oldsters like me who first bought the books for their own kids plus a 10-year-old boy who is just beginning the books and already is quite fluent in Hogwarts-speak. As in all book-club discussions, I learn so much from everybody else and enjoy picking up details I completely miss on my own.  I’m constantly amazed at how the Harry Potter series touched so many different people — everybody has their Harry Potter stories. Go to http://en.wikibooks.org and http://www.scholastic.com for discussion questions.