Thursday, April 1, 2010

All the Frills Upon It

Today was the Easter Hat Parade at Ava's school. It is the event of the season. Or at least of the week. All of the K-2 students are assigned a "buddy" from an older class and together they assemble the younger child's Easter hat. Then everyone comes on the last day of term for the Hat Parade. The students march around, there are raffles drawn and colouring competitions, and there is that general buzz of "it's the last day of school before break" feeling.

Last year, I remember the Easter Hat Parade lasting about 6.3 years. Roughly. I mean, I thought that sucker would never end. That may have had something to do with the fact that I was greatly pregnant, sitting on a hard plastic chair with a 3 year old Nate on my lap. So I anticipated it lasting forever again today.

But it didn't! Just over an hour. Who really needs more Hat Parade than that, anyway? And this year, instead of looking like an Easter egg myself, I got to bring my little baby chick with me.

Look at that little Easter confection!

And here is Ava in her long-awaited hat. Note the very serious hat-wearing posture and frozen smile.
And look at the expression on the little boy next to her! "You gonna take a picture, or WHAT?" That's L, in Ava's class--he is a real cutie.

After the Hat Parade, the principal thanked us all for coming, and encouraged us to go ahead and take our children home if we wanted to. I looked at one of the other moms sitting next to me and raised my eyebrows. "I don't think so!" I am not one of those moms that dreads school holidays, but why rush these things? She'd have more fun at school with her buds, anyway.

You might've guessed that for us, Easter is about a great deal more than bunnies and eggs and chocolate. Don't get me wrong--we enjoy all that as much as anyone. But if there had never been that first Easter morning--hope springing from despair, life miraculously triumphing over death, God Himself meeting us in our darkest moment--I certainly can't imagine what my life would be like. So while I'm eating chocolate and playing Easter Bunny this weekend, I'll definitely be thinking of that. And thanking God for God.

And let me just add this...I usually don't rant about things, y'all. I am not a debater--I'm a lover, not a fighter. I leave the controversial stuff to my brother Dave, who's so much better at it than me. But I just read an article yesterday and couldn't believe it. Background first, though. Each year, the Royal Easter Show takes place in Sydney. It's a huge, 2 week long festival, a carnival-like atmosphere with entertainment and rides and exhibitions. Sponsored by the Royal Agricultural Society, so there's livestock shows, too. Thousands and thousands of people go every year.

So, yesterday I read that the Bible Society of New South Wales was told they could not have a stall at the Easter Show. They had originally been told they had a spot and then were told that, due to the religious nature of their exhibit, they would not be permitted to participate. Because clearly, Jesus and Easter don't mix. I just have to say, I think this is utterly redonkulous. To be fair, the Easter Show management claimed to have "an unwritten policy" that no religious or political groups can participate. But no Jesus at the Easter Show? Doesn't that just seem a bit silly? Their stall would have been one of hundreds that people could stop at or walk on by. I was simply amazed that they were told they couldn't come. If nothing else, it seems like a bad PR move for the Easter Show!

I mean, when we went to the Chinese New Year Festival a few weeks ago, was I surprised or offended to see exhibits and stalls espousing traditional Chinese beliefs? Literature being sold along those lines? No. Cause y'all, it was a Chinese New Year Festival. Perhaps there might be some people from China involved in such a thing. We chose to stop at the stalls we were interested in and to pass by the ones we weren't. No worries, right?

Anyway, it's still Easter regardless of all that! I mean, I don't think Jesus is sitting at home all bummed out that he didn't get asked to the prom or whatever. So however you spend it, I hope you have a great weekend. And to all of you who have been emailing or commenting and asking after Becky--thank you so much. She is home now and doing well. We are so grateful for your prayers and sweet thoughts.


  1. Jesus bummed at home? LOL sorry I know that should not be funny it was. I am taking my kids to church for the first time this year, and I am nervous. I was asked to leave my church because I had my son out of wedlock and I have not been back since. My son goes to a Christan private school and we do bible study and things at home. We watch the local pastor on televison and go along that way. My son asked me to take him to church on Sunday so I am putting aside my feelings of woe to take him. I am nervous and more than a little afraid we will not be accepted, but I can not deny my children the right to go to church if they want to. Here is to trying to put 8 years in the past and move forward. Happy Easter to you and yours.

  2. AmyOdom, you do make me laugh. Frankly, I think Jesus is better off without the lame Easter carnival. I'd be willing to take bets he thinks so too. So, I think the Becky plight has been on my mind a ton, because I had a dream last night that the three of us were hanging out in the mountains. It was one of those very real dreams where I woke up and it took me a few minutes to realize it was, in fact, a dream. It made me miss you! Love and prayers continue.

  3. Looks like the Big Easter Parade was great fun! Grace is adorable as always. And I agree with you about the nonsense of the Bible Society booth not being allowed in an Easter Festival. Lunacy!

    May God bless you, Lily, as you return to church with your children. Be assured that God does love you and your sweet children. Happy Easter!

  4. 1. The kids are is usual.

    2. The whole no-room-for-Jesus at the Easter celebration is mind bending in its absurdity.

    3. Lily-o-D, every Christian owes you an apology. You were mistreated by that congregation. As you doubtless already know, the sin that Jesus railed about in the strongest terms was the sin of of the self-righteous churchy types in putting barriers between people and the love and grace of God. Keep looking until you find a church that loves Jesus more than they love the idea of their own imagined virtue.

  5. Miss Grace continues to blossom with cuteness.

    Superb Easter hat. I never would've thought to go princess damsel hat!

    Lily, I can definitely understand your frustration and trepidation! I've had some stinky church experiences, too. Don't give up though: it sounds like you and your family would be a great blessing to the right church :-) (says the presently churchless lady...)

  6. You are funny, girl. My mama used to have a "thing" about people who abbreviated Christmas "Xmas". "The Christ part is the whole point!". I mean, if she saw a sign in a store that said Xmas gifts, she'd just leave.

    I have to say that my favorite thing about Jude going to a parochial school is that they can actually talk about Jesus on Easter and Christmas. My friends with kids in public school say it's so depressing at Christmas to go to the "Holiday Party", and the only songs they can sing are Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph. Kids nowadays don't even learn the old classics like Silent Night. Sad.

  7. I came back here three times just to read about Jesus not being invited to the prom - hilarious every time I read it! I don't know you all but it seems I am compelled by that same Jesus to keep praying for The Suburban Matron. Thanks for keeping us updated and for the reminder that God meets us in our darkest moments. Happy Easter.

  8. Lily--Happy Easter to you too! I am sorry to hear that you got burned in your last church, it makes me truly sad to hear stories like that. But I know there are lots of great congregations out there that you can find a home in. Hope this weekend goes really well!

    Gretchen--I know! We try hard to strike the balance between celebrating the more cultural parts of the holidays as well as talking to the kids about *why* we're doing it. Ava definitely gets it and Nate will as he gets older.

    And CHM--glad you liked my prom line. :) I just thought the tone of the article was a little, "Poor Jesus--he doesn't get to go to the Easter Show." And I'm all, ya know, I think Jesus is probably okay. And thanks for your prayers!

    Meg--love that you dreamed that! Maybe we can do it for real someday.

  9. that's one memorable head confection, Ava!

    But if there had never been that first Easter morning--hope springing from despair, life miraculously triumphing over death, God Himself meeting us in our darkest moment--I certainly can't imagine what my life would be like.


  10. IT's weird commenting on your blog after seeing you yesterday :)
    but it's absolutely ridiculous what the Easter Show people have done, crazy!
    Lily, I also want to say I am so...sorry about what you experienced in that church. I want to add my apology to the others as well and hope that this Easter weekend goes well for you and your kids.

  11. Hi Amy,

    I'm new to your blog. I found it through (joyfulmum) Rosemary's blog. I've really enjoyed reading your entries! You have a way with words. :-)

    The description of your daughter's easter hat parade was identical to my daughter's parade, including the school uniform in the background. I think they may go to the same school. If so, what a small world indeed.

    Anyway, just wanted to say hello and thanks for the laughs so far. Looking forward to reading more.


  12. Hi and welcome, Lina! Glad you popped over. :) Okay, that is too weird...could it be? I'll try to figure out a way to hint at the school without actually saying the name and you can tell me if that's it! LOL it'll be fun, like a game. (Like a *sort of* fun game.)

    Does your daughter's school share part of its name with the street it's located on?

  13. Thanks for the welcome! :-)

    Should be a fun game *rubs her hands together*

    The answer is: No, my daughter's school doesn't share part of it's name with the street it's located on. However, a school nearby to us does. That particular school starts with a J. But they don't wear green and white summer uniforms. :-)

    Okay, time for my question: At your daughter's school, is the assistant principal/kindegarten co-ordinator's initials D.C?

  14. Hey, Lina! No, it isn't I don't think. Weird!

    I need to find a way to send you my email address without publishing it on the Internets. :) And then we can figure this out. Maybe they're just two schools with REALLY similar uniforms. :)