April 8, 2007

Evie's first Easter

Today has been Easter.

It was Evie's first holiday.

To prepare, Sam and I ventured to BabyGap and bought her an irresponsibly cute dress.

This morning, we brought her to church, where I was terrified of being Those People With the Baby.

Nobody wants to sit next to Those People. The baby invariably screams, the parents try to act nonchalant, and everyone in a 3-pew radius misses the sermon on Christian charity because they're too busy casting dirty looks at Those People With the Baby.

We were not They.

Evie stayed completely silent, save for a few whimpers toward the end of the service.

What blew me away was the reaction we got from other people.

Complete strangers walked over to admire our baby and congratulate us. When we walked up to receive communion, I could see people excitedly pointing her out to another. Everywhere I looked, someone was smiling at us.

Maybe it was the Easter spirit. Maybe it was the cute dress. But I had to wonder if all new parents get this much positive attention when they go out in public, or if there was something special about our family.

Maybe people were picking up on our happiness. Maybe they could tell that Evie is about as beloved as a child can be.

I love the idea that Evie is spreading positive energy into the world.

When we got home, we decided to take some family photos. Unfortunately, only two of us were able to maintain our pleasant moods.

Clearly, it was time for a nap.

As my daughter dozed on the couch, I gathered flowers from the yard.

Last fall, I bought a collection of bulbs imported from Holland.

I still remember my thought process when I was planting them.

I was starting my second trimester of pregnancy. I remember thinking, "These flowers will arrive around the same time as the baby." It was one of those mind-boggling realizations.

The baby didn't seem real back then.

She was just an abstract concept. Rasbaby. I knew her as heartburn and hormonal fluctuations. I had faith that she would be something more someday, but the reality of Evie was beyond the scope of my imagination.

It was easier to imagine the crusty, dry bulbs turning into the glorious blooms in the Dutch Gardens catalog. It was a similar leap of faith, though, trusting that spring would bring new life and I could share in the accomplishment.

Planting those bulbs took a lot out of me. It was cold that day, I was exhausted, and I had to remind myself that it would all be worth it someday when I told my child, "The crocuses were blooming when you were born."

When she was 2 1/2 weeks old, the daffodils, hyacinths, and red tulips opened up for Easter.

God kept his promise. The flowers. The baby. The world renewing itself every spring as we celebrate resurrection and life eternal.

Happy Easter. I hope that your day is filled with the joy of life, new and everlasting.

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