There is one month until my favourite time of the year: the Festival of Easter. There is a strong religious aspect to Easter and I like to think we teach our kids basic Christian values. Two of my three kids are Catholic. My husband is Catholic. I am not. And my third child is going to stay on team Mum.
Things went a little pear-shaped at child number two’s christening when the priest performed a surprise exorcism. My husband’s side of the family are staunch Irish Catholic. My side of the family were raised believing Sundays are for the beach.
So you can imagine the look of horror and bewilderment from my clan when the priest held up my nude four-month old baby during a bizarre rant expelling the demons from my plump little innocent boy.
I now wish I had intervened, but I was so stunned I could only stand there wondering if this is what happens during a traditional christening. It was at the party afterwards when even the hardcore Catholics said it was a crazy christening.
But I do truly get excited about Easter, because it means cooler weather and chocolate and family time. It means fabulous seafood and books and flannelette pyjamas. In my head I picture us all wearing matching pyjamas and pigging out on Cadbury Creme Eggs.
My mother-in-law (the Irish Catholic one) is the most generous woman on the planet and always sends pyjamas to us at Easter. Betty did this for her kids and now does it for her grandkids. I have no doubt we will continue this gorgeous tradition.
I love a tradition. Our traditions go beyond hot cross buns on Easter morning. We cook pancakes on a Sunday morning and listen to The Beatles. We try to go to the beach for sunset and sit down to a roast Sunday nights.
I let the kids have their birthday off school. We always watch Elf at Christmas and serve Dad brekky in bed on Father’s Day. We have a secret family handshake and every night we lie in bed with each child to talk about the day.
It is tradition that brings me the biggest sense of family and a feeling of being content. Traditions add to the rhythm and seasonality of life and add stability to the busy days we all lead. It gives us all something to look forward to and to anchor us in our family when there may be tough times in the outside world.
I hope my kids remember these traditions as a way we nurtured them and their sense of belonging and carry them on with their children.