Saturday, April 22, 2006

An Easter Eve Letter

April 15, 2006

Dear McKenna,

It's almost midnight and Easter is tomorrow. I should be sleeping because I know you'll be up early. But the truth is, I'm feeling sad. Our video camera has been broken for awhile now and I'm feeling sad that we won't be able to capture your reaction on tape tomorrow. So I'm up this late because I wanted to journal what today, the day BEFORE Easter was like with you. I'm very tired so you'll have to forgive me if this is worded poorly.

There is a reason that this particular Easter is so special for me. Before I even had children, I looked forward to that first holiday when my child was anxious and excited for the arrival of Santa or the Easter Bunny. Once I stopped believing in those things, the magic of the holiday was a little less exciting and I couldn't wait to relive that magic through the eyes of my children.

You're a little over two and a half years old now. You grasped the idea of Santa last December but for some reason, four months difference has matured you enough that you are over-the-moon excited at the idea of waking up to surpises tomorrow. So this Easter is the first holiday where you are truly anticipating the big day.

We took you and your sister to see the Easter Bunny a few days ago and you were so excited. You were dressed up like a little lady going to high tea - you had a little white hat, little white gloves and a little pink purse, which you clutched tightly as you waited in line. You were so well-behaved and patient during the long wait. And just as it was about to be our turn, the Easter Bunny had to go potty. So we had to wait another 10 minutes while he trekked across the mall. You didn't mind a bit. You waited your turn and occupied yourself by talking to the kids behind us, pointing out your favorite vegetables in the Easter Bunny's "garden" and telling us what you planned to ask him to bring you in your basket. You asked for toys, candy, eggs, apples, bananas and pineapple. What kid asks for fruit in their Easter basket? Only you, my sweetie. Only you.

You have been talking about Easter non-stop since then. You could NOT wait to dye eggs and we had to field several tantrums when you would insist on dying eggs and we had to tell you "Not until Saturday." Luckily, you had an Easter party at school and you got to dye eggs there. That tide you over for a couple days.

This morning we dyed eggs together as a family. You did wonderfully. You didn't even make a mess, which Mommy appreciated. You chose your favorite colors, you chose which eggs would be glittered and which would not, you drew your own version of flowers on some and you even attempted to write "I love Daddy" on one. Sure, it was barely a scribble. But the sentiment was there and if Daddy could, I think he would carry that egg around in his pocket forever. Of course the most amusing part was when you and Daddy made a "Trogdor" egg which prompted you to sing the entire "Trogdor" song with great zeal.

When it was naptime, you took the longest time falling asleep. You were too excited about Easter. I finally went in and told you that you had to sleep or else Easter would never get here. I had been telling you that the Easter Bunny would come after the sun went to sleep and the moon came out. You did finally nap for a measely 45 minutes and then you woke up shouting "Wake up Moon! Wake up!" I had to explain to you that it wasn't quite Easter time yet!

All evening you continued to talk about the Easter Bunny and how he was going to bring you eggs, toys, candy, apples, bananas and pineapple. As evening approached, you kept looking out the window yelling "Wake up moon!!" I do believe that for you, this was the longest day of your little life.

Finally, around 7pm, as we neared sunset, I told you that the moon was going to wake up soon but that the Easter Bunny doesn't come until we're asleep. Without missing a beat you said "Mommy, I'm tired." You NEVER admit to being tired. So I said "You are? Would you like to go to bed?" You said "Yes, I'd like to go to bed." Now that was a shock! You never WANT to go to bed. So I asked you again "You want to go to bed right now?" You answered "Yes, I like to go to bed please." I asked you "Do you still want to take your shower?" You decided that you did want to shower first.

You love to take showers by yourself. It's safe and you will play in there for almost an hour. So I let you play for a bit and then when I told you it was time to get out, you resisted. So I said in a very excited voice "McKenna, we have to HURRY! If the Easter Bunny hops by and looks in our window and he sees that you're still awake, he'll skip our house!" Well that lit a fire under you! You frantically began yelling "Hurry, hurry! Let's go to bed!" I told you to put on your pajamas while I got Kyla ready for bed. You were trying to dress so quickly that you got tangled up in your pants and toppled right over! You yelled out "Mommy! Help me! Help me!" I was trying so hard not to laugh! You were so worried that the Easter Bunny was just seconds from passing you by that you could not move fast enough!

You gave Kyla her goodnight kiss and told her "Go right to sleep Kyla so the Easter Bunny will come!" And then you tore across the living room, into your own bedroom and hopped into bed. I read you a book about the true meaning of Easter, we said prayers and I turned off the light. I told you to go right to sleep. And then I told you that if you were to hear the Easter Bunny outside, opening bags of candy or hiding eggs, that you needed to close your eyes super tight and try to sleep otherwise he might leave!

Well after a couple of hours passed, I pulled out the Easter goodies so I could begin to assemble baskets for you girls. I'm opening bags of candy but I hear you begin to yell "Mommy, I did it! I did it! I did it!" So I go in your room and ask you what's wrong. You said "I did it! I heard the Easter Bunny and I closed my eyes real tight like this." And then you proceeded to show me how tightly you closed your eyes. I think you thought that you were successful in feigning sleep and that you could now get up and see what the Easter Bunny left. I told you that you had to continue sleeping otherwise the Easter Bunny may not come back to leave you your treats. You answered with a dejected "Oh-tay." You gave a sigh and closed your eyes again.

I have a feeling that you will be up with the sun tomorrow. You should know that I absolutely love my sleep. But morning cannot come fast enough for me right now. I am as excited tonight as I was when I was a little girl, waiting for Easter morning. I can't wait to hear your voice in the morning as you call out to us that you're ready to wake up. I can't wait to watch you hunt for eggs, to see your face as you discover your basket which is absolutely overflowing with toys and candy. And yes, my sweet, there are even apples, bananas and pineapple in there for you.

Happy Easter precious. Thank you for bringing back the magic of the holidays.


Jen said...

awww- this melted my heart. thanks for sharing :)

Julie Jewels said...

Shannon!! I have tears in my eyes! That was the most beautiful Easter letter ever written!

terrarist said...

oh my good lord. i am SOBBING this is the sappiest cutest most precious lovable letter in the whole world. how do you do it???

ok now we need to think of good napolean dynamite quotes to make me laugh again...
cause we all know i am training to be a cagefighter.


Kristin said...

awwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!! that is the sweetest thing ever!! I'm not sure if i'm a sap or maybe just normal but i've got the tears in my eyes too!! Especially with the last part leaving out the fruit for her *MELT*

Alyson said...

I can't believe how hard I'm crying right now. So sweet.

Stephanie said...

Am I the only one laughing? This is so super cute and sweet, but I am totally picturing her tumbling over while trying to put on her pj's! Love this. You are the bestest mommy (and Easter bunny too)! :)

Mom said...

oh my gosh, this is the sweetest thing! I am so greatful you received a gift of putting pen to paper in such an awesome way! (Lord knows you didn't get it from me hahah) I wish you would have said something I would have brought my video camera over to you... She will absolutely love this letter when she gets older! I love you!

Maegan said...

Oh that is the sweetest letter! Seriously, had I known I would have sent you my video camera to borrow. So did she just LOVE her Easter treats? You myst tell us how the morning went!

Lindsay said...

omgosh! you have such a creative way of expressing your love for her! you seem like the BEST mom-such attention to details in that letter! one day, when she reads that, she is going to be able to relive her pure excitement and joy just like we were all able to by reading your words!!

Melissa Ives said...

That is so beautiful and so much more pointant (sp) than any video tape...she will treasure this!

Laura said...

Shannon, I know I tell you this all the time, but you have such a gift of being able to say things just right, you always seem to be able to find just the right words and convey your feelings so perfectly. Thank you so much for sharing this sweet, sweet letter. She and Kyla are such lucky little girls to have you for their Mom.

Gina said...

Awww what a sweet letter. ;) I say you turn it into a page!

Kim said...

So sweet. I hope you all had a wonderful Easter.

Elaine said...

OMG. this is the cutest letter EvER! Sniff.