Thursday, April 13, 2006

Happy, Um, Easter!?

I think I've mentioned it before, but just in case I haven't, Sister is legendary in our family for her holiday happy boxes. You can just about bet on the fact that, sometime just before a holiday, a package will arrive with all manner of Valentine's / St. Patrick's Day / 4th of July goodies. Because she's festive like that.

So today, when I saw that David put a box on our kitchen table with the rest of our mail, my first thought was, "Oh, I bet that's from Sister." But then I noticed that the box was open, and that David had displayed a little something on the pass-through between the kitchen and the den.

And I looked at him, and back at the pass-through, then at him, then back at the pass-through, and finally I managed to say, "Uh. What's this for?"

You see, most people, when they send Easter happies, they send candy, or decorative Easter eggs, or stuffed bunnies, or maybe, if they're thinking outside the box, an Easter coloring book or even a Veggie Tales DVD. I think all those gifts are pretty standard, right? Right?

But David's mother is not "most people." I think I established that here.

That being clear, I would now like to take this opportunity to show you what my mother-in-law sent us:

That would be a picture of my mother-in-law.

Please don't misunderstand. I'm grateful. It's a lovely picture and a thoughtful gesture. Alex will love having the picture in his bedroom and will, I'm sure, talk to it before he goes to sleep at night. Those of you who know Martha know that she put this gift together with great care and no doubt told at least 4 members of the local postal service what she was doing ("You see, my son and his wife live in Birmingham, they live in Birmingham! Well, technically they're a little outside of Birmingham, but they do everything in the city, just everything, because that's where their church is and where Alex's Mother's Day Out is, and they just love it there, love it! So I had this picture made because my friend Mary Ann? Well, her daughter married Sela Ward's brother, and Mary Ann's daughter, you know, the one who I mentioned just a second ago was married to Sela's brother, had this faaaabulous luncheon out on Sela's farm and there was a photographer there and anyway...").

Truthfully, I couldn't help but get just a wee bit tickled by Martha commemorating the death and Resurrection of our Lord and Savior by sending us a picture of herself. Is it just me? Aren't y'all a little tickled by that, too?

It reminds me of the time the Dentons, who lived down the road from my friend Laura, ordered a cake for Easter. Mrs. Helen was VERY specific with the baker...she wanted a cake with a cross in the center and Easter-appropriate text below. The baker verified the order and said, "So you want an Easter cake?" Mrs. Helen replied that yes, that was exactly what she wanted.

Mrs. Helen picked up her cake right before Easter and didn't take time to check it before she left. She paid, took the cake home, and was understandably alarmed by what she saw when she opened the box.

There was a cake, all right...a cake with a big ole bunny rabbit in the center and the words "HE IS RISEN!" underneath.

Mrs. Helen was none too pleased with the assumption that she celebrated the resurrection of a dead bunny on Easter morning.

So when Alex wakes up from his nap, I'm sure he'll be delighted to see Martie's picture, and we'll make a big fuss over it indeed, just as Martie would want for us to do. She looks mighty good at seventy-something, doesn't she?

But to avoid any bunny / He Is Risen confusion, I don't think I'll tell Alex that she sent it for Easter. That might blur the reason for the season a bit.

And I have to say...I have struggled all day with writing a post, but once I saw our new picture, I lost any and every trace of writer's block. It's proof positive, I reckon, that you can always count on family to pull you through when you're in desperate need of material.


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