We don’t have that many Easter Sunday traditions. We typically eat with Jola (Thorsten’s mom), we try to go to church, we sometimes watch the Pope on tv for a few minutes and most years one or both of my parents have visited us for Easter.
This year was a little different.
One big difference was that my parents weren’t here. The other big difference was that this was the first year the girls could really anticipate and look forward to Easter.
They went to bed thinking about whether the Easter bunny would come and when they woke up they got to put on their fanciest dresses and run around in the backyard hunting for eggs. Getting to see the joy and excitement on their faces was such fun and I realized for the ump-teenth time how thankful I am to be quarantining little maniacs. However challenging it is, they are a reminder that joy is contagious.
Since the onset of our quarantine there is a moment during everyday when I let them do something I probably wouldn’t under normal circumstances. I wonder if this actually means that we could be having more fun on a regular basis. But more to the point, today they ate plenty of chocolate before 9am (which is one of those exceptions) and I remembered why we don’t do that normally because they were both basket cases before lunch.
Case and point–We went for a bike ride. The weather was amazing. 70 degrees fahrenheit, sunny, blue skies. But there were tears in the first five minutes. Some examples of the issues: Those are my dandelions and she can’t hold them. Another: I want us to have matching bikes and we don’t.
The next drama was I’m thirsty. She went on, If it was just a little colder and a little cloudier, I wouldn’t be so thirsty and I would be able to ride my bike better. Did this kid just wish for crappy weather?
In spite of social distancing we still managed to eat our Easter meal with Jola. It just took some creative planning.
Thorsten was in charge of the main course. (This is something highly unusual) He likes to make Schäuferla–a Franconian specialty. It’s a bone-in cut of pork shoulder, braised and then broiled at the end to make the top layer of fat puff up to crispy deliciousness. For a person who literally never even boils water he was calm and collected in the kitchen. Totally confident, he didn’t even seem stressed, just got down to business. His mom (who lives 10 minutes away) was in charge of the Wirsing (a side dish made with chopped and cooked savoy cabbage) Hers is really the best I’ve tasted. Once everything was complete, he drove to her house to make the trade, keeping his distance of course. Then once we was back again we skyped while we ate. In this way we were together-apart and maintained pretty much the only Easter tradition we really have.
The opportunity to get to reimagine our lives, start new traditions and throw out things that don’t matter, overwhelming as it maybe, is one of the positives of this double-edged Coronavirus knife. That this quarantine coincides with spring time and all the world’s traditions of rebirth is not lost on me. Although things will come to an end, and some tragically so, this will be a new beginning.