Last week was our break week from school. During break week I try to do extra housekeeping, extra little projects like switching out the kids’ clothes for the season change, tidy up our school areas, and maybe get in a little extra writing or planning.
The week started out well. I boxed up the winter gear and had piles and piles of clothes in my bedroom: clothes for storage, clothes for kids to try on, clothes to pass on, clothes to donate. I got my desk area cleaned up and the upper kitchen cabinets avalanche-free. I placed an order for some of the school books we’ll need for next year. It promised to be a highly productive break week.
Then Wednesday evening I came down with the virus the younger children had – the one that was keeping my husband and I up at night with various cries and coughs from down the hall. Thursday I was down and out. Low fever, coughing, congestion, raging headache. The children did their break-week thing: played, drew, etc. etc. and I interfered as little as possible.
And every mom reading this knows what happens to the house when kids play free and mom is down sick.
So much for that healthy start at a thorough kitchen cleaning and laundry catch-up.
No hot cross buns. No Good Friday service. My mom and sister brought the eggs for egg coloring to our house instead of our usual Saturday party at their house.
There was candy for the baskets, but I never made it to WalMart for other goodies. We didn’t go to either relatives’ house for Easter. We didn’t even go to church Sunday morning because our coughs still sounded so bad! So there was no ham, no asparagus.
I had made my Easter-special on Saturday: Parker House Rolls (plus extra made into – all white! – cinnamon rolls).
And this was the year I had said I’d start working at really making Easter big. I was already not doing so hot, and with being sick, it was a total wash.
There’s always next year, right?
But, you know what? It was all ok.
My to-do list got longer instead of shorter. However, I got in a lot of baby-cuddles on the couch as we waited out our fevers together. I got to read in bed – in the middle of the day! I read 2 novels.
My husband kept things from falling too much to pieces. An hour or two of work on Monday (which we’d already planned on taking off and by which time I was feeling mostly recovered), and the main living areas were back to their pre-sickness state (i.e. not actually clean, but at least not chaotic).
(Guess what? Google automatically enhances faces when you upload photos to Picasa. Trust me, I did not look that good on my iPod photo of sicky me & baby. But I’m not reverting it. I need Google to filter my face all the time!)
Because I got started straight-away on Monday and Tuesday with the important things first – cleaning up my desk and getting in some planning for next school year – even though the basic housework fell to pieces, the week wasn’t a total wash.
If I had done more of the Easter preparations beforehand and added grocery shopping to that list of important tasks, then the weekend would have “counted” more in my own mind. I mean, not only did we not go to church, but we didn’t even have ham. So clearly Easter didn’t count at all this year.
Stop being a perfectionist.
Except Jesus still rose from the dead and defeated death and saves us from sin’s grip – even if I don’t pull off a holiday celebration in honor of the fact. The children still had fun and didn’t phase them that their baskets were a little light and sparsely filled this year. They still got to get sick on a candy free-for-all before breakfast and before mom & dad were up. My parents picked up Hans & Jaeger and took them to church and to their house afterward, so they still had a big, full day.
So why do I get wrapped up in not meeting my own expectations? Really, that’s part of the point of Easter: place your hope, your expectations, where they will be fulfilled – in Christ alone and not in our own efforts.
Happy Easter – even if it is the least liturgical/traditional/beautiful one yet instead of the most. Even so, He is risen.
He is risen indeed.