Easter Bunny bringing new undies

It’s almost Easter.

What used to consist of filling a basket with brightly colored eggs and chocolate bunnies has morphed into something entirely different as the kids have gotten older.

Gone are the days of dropping food coloring tablets into various bowls of vinegar and meticulously soaking eggs that all turn grayish blue or brownish yellow in the end anyway.

No more egg hunts or frilly Sunday dresses.

Now it seems the only thing that can rouse a teenager from bed on Easter is the promise of food that will not actually be prepared by me.

Well, food, and new underwear.

My mom always bought us new underwear on Easter.

I’m not sure why, but I am finding myself carrying on the tradition. Spring is all about new beginnings, so why not start it with skidmark-free undies?

Sometimes the Easter Bunny brings new socks, too.

Who am I to argue?

I admit, I don’t miss the plastic Easter grass that hangs around in overlooked nooks and crannies until Labor Day, or the one hard-boiled egg that always seems to be hidden so well that no one finds it until it starts reeking weeks later.

The Easter ritual has simplified over the years but it’s still memorable.

I have one main objective on Easter.

An Easter mission, if you will.  

The goal is to get the kids to be in close proximity of each other long enough to capture photographic evidence that I kept them alive one more year.

It’s more complex than you might think.

Off I go, camera in hand, mother goose with her four goslings trailing after her.

Headed for certain disaster.

It’s like a cartoon episode.

Me, waddling out front, waving them into formations.

I can hear the grumblings behind me.

“Are we almost done?”

“I’m thirsty, I want a juice box.”

“Why do we have to walk? Walking is stupid.”

“Are we going to go eat?”

“Can’t we just Photoshop ourselves into nature?”

And then the Benny Hill song starts playing.

I find that it’s best not to focus on the losses of the small battles, like color coordinating schemes or the seating arrangements in the car on the way to wherever we will be picture taking.

Choosing the right spot is key. Stay clear of bodies of water for obvious reasons.

If there is mud, they will find it, step in it, kneel in their khaki pants or resort to mud wrestling if looked at sideways or breathed on by a sibling.

Remember, no one wants this picture but you, so tread lightly.

I avoid selecting spots near flowers as Kid #1 is prone to take off in a dead sprint if she hears anything that could be mistaken as the fluttering of a bee or wasp wings.

It takes a considerable amount of time to regroup afterwards.

I once found the perfect fallen tree to pose the kids by, but that was the year Kid #3 had an irrational fear of ticks and cried until we changed locations.

There has always been at least one kid going through that “awkward” phase. The one where they exhibit a forced smile that looks like a cross between constipation and serial killer.   

Kid #1 is on her phone.

Kid #2 is rolling his eyes.

Kid #3 is pouting in the car.

Oh look, Kid #4 found a frog and it peed all over him.

I just want one picture, people.

Maybe this year, I’ll forget the whole outdoor spring theme and just pose the kids in front of someone’s Christmas lights that are obnoxiously STILL up AND plugged in.

Yes, neighbors, I mean yours.

Stefanie Freeman is a Jefferson resident currently serving 18 to life as a mother of four.

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