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A child’s smile makes everything worth it

April 15, 2012
By LESLIE LETUSICK - Copy editor ( , The Herald-Star

Easter festivities kicked off three days before Easter in the Letusick house. When you come from a divorced family, spreading your time fairly at the holidays becomes a bit of a challenge. All I can say is, thank God, my husband's parents are still married. All we need is one more place to be for a holiday. Things are crazy enough with three.

When my son was born, we decided that visiting three sets of parents in one day was just too much. So now, each set sits out one holiday, unless they move theirs off the actual holiday. I don't see my mom on Christmas, because we celebrate Christmas Eve. I don't see my in-laws on Thanksgiving, unless they have dinner the Sunday after, which has been the case the past two years. And I don't see my dad on Easter. We color eggs with him on Good Friday.

But as I said, our Easter began on Thursday. Little Man and I baked and decorated sugar cookies, cupcakes and an Easter Bunny cake. Let me just say, baking with a 3-year-old is not an easy experience, but one I will never forget either. At least this time, he didn't turn the mixer on full blast filled only with flour. What a mess. We made cut-out cookies shaped like eggs, bunny faces, chicks, tulips and carrots. We decorated cupcakes with Easter wrappers with colorful eggs. Blue, of course, was my son's choice when asked what color he wanted to make anything, even the bunny.

Friday morning and early afternoon were out of the question for me to accomplish any of my Easter to-do list. I was in the newsroom laying out the paper. But when I got home, I started chiseling away again at that list. It didn't seem to be getting any shorter.

After work, Little Man and I headed to my dad's to color eggs with him, my stepmom and niece Lillian. This has become a tradition since Little Man was able to color eggs. No one at my house eats them, but it's all about the experience and the fun. We gave them to my father-in-law and stepfather. We both crashed not long after returning home.

Saturday came way too early for me. We had to wash the dog for his Easter bath (he also gets a Christmas one.) Then we got ready for our second round of Easter festivities: dinner at my aunt's house. Dinner was good; we had the usual Easter stuff, ham and potatoes. My mom made coconut cream pie for dessert, my favorite, and Little Man's, too.

After hanging with the family for a little while, we headed home to pack for our mini vacation that would begin after our third Easter event. Little Man packed his most important things: toys and snacks. I packed his not-so important things: clothes and shoes.

Finally, after packing the last bag, I was able to get Little Man's Easter stuff ready. I piled the candy in his basket and hid it and the toys the Easter Bunny bought for him. The "bunny" left a note with clues leading him to each of his gifts. Then it was off to bed, hopefully for the entire night.

Wrong. A little after 1 in the morning, I heard the ever-popular yell "mommy" come across the baby monitor. As always, I grabbed my glasses and headed to his room. A short conversation followed about why I was paged and was off to sleep again, with me beside him.

Sunday morning arrived before we knew it.

As soon as his little head came off the pillow, Little Man wanted to know if it was Easter day yet. When I said it was, he excitedly got my husband from bed (I told him he had to get Daddy before searching for his basket.) Once daddy was ready, the hunt began.

I read Little Man his poem that gave him the clues to locate his basket. He was excited to run from one place to the next. When he found his basket, he wanted to know where to go next. He was sad when I told him that was it, but that lasted for only a minute. He was quickly running to play with his toys from the Easter Bunny and dad and me.

I smiled to myself. His face made everything I had to cram into just a few days worth every minute of stress.

Easter morning is one of the mornings I have come to love since my son was born. I get to be the "Easter Bunny."

(Letusick, a resident of Rayland, is a copy editor for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times.)

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