This Easter is B1’s very first. Comparatively B2 is a veteran, two whole Easter experiences under her belt. But they’re both young enough to create new rituals and family traditions. How do we celebrate this time? What are the things we will do each year? Should we rule out Easter eggs bigger than our own heads? These are the big questions, people.
For anyone that grew up in Sydney, Australia, Easter is synonomous with The Sydney Royal Easter Show. Everyone knows about the Easter Show. It’s been held for 190 years, is run by the Royal Agricultural Society of New South Wales and approximately one million people visit each year. Yes, one million. This ain’t no piddly country fete. In fact, it’s a little difficult to describe what it is because it features quite different elements. There’s the agricultural show (including a working dairy demonstration, kids farm experience, farm and domestic animal shows), two amusement parks (one for “big kids” – teenagers and adults – and one for “littler kids”) and fair (face painting, food stalls, shops). It’s huge. And busy.
Matt and the babes and I headed into the fray on a Monday, which was, as the Aussies would say “a bloody good idea”. It was a gorgeous summer’s day and B1 was utterly mesmerised right from the entrance. The ferris wheel! The music! The chocolate dipped strawberries on sticks! [So many food options on sticks, by the way. Cheese on a stick? Huh?!] We made a bee-line for the farm animals and kid’s farm. They had three little pigs next to houses of straw, sticks and brick. Awwww, too sweet. And, can I ask you, is there anything cuter than a sleeping piglet?
B1 could not get over feeding the animals. She wasn’t phased when goats and sheep as tall as her bumped her around for a nibble at the feed. B2 on the other hand was terrified and did a koala impression using Matt as her Eucalyptus tree. I was once again awed at the size of cows (I always forget how HUGE they are), charmed by ducklings, sad I missed the dogs. Let’s just say that by the time we got to the dogs we were all bone-weary and B2 was, ahem, “vocalizing” her dissatisfaction.
We took a break from overstimulation to enjoy a scone from the Country Women’s Association and to buy their latest recipe book. I love the concept of the CWA. Cannot wait to try making lamingtons with generations of wisdom guiding my hand. Surely I can’t go wrong?
B1 got her face painted. It seems like an understatement to say it like that. She was transformed into a “magical cat”. That’s better. She chose “magical cat” from a line up of options including princess, fairy, flowers, butterfly etc. I was pretty proud. “Witch” was her other choice. The face painter was one of those people who call your kid “Missy Moo” and give cuddles and it’s not overstepping the line at all; B1 was transfixed by her and sat perfectly still while she smudged on rainbow paint and sprinkled glitter.
Matt bought show bags. And ate a pie. And got a fake tattoo. I don’t quite know why, but I think it had something to do with tradition and nostalgia. In fact there were a lot of people there who seemed to be doing what they had done for years, doing what reminded them of their childhoods. Teenagers winning over-sized toys and walking hand in hand. Grandparents with little ones in strollers, helium balloons tied to the handles. There was fairy floss and a haunted house and knitted things and pictures made with dried rice and beans.
It was wonderful.
Parenthood is no easy job, that’s no secret. But surely these moments are the best parts. This is the shaping of a childhood, the making of memories and the forming of traditions. During these times of celebration we get to do things the way we want to do them, we can unstitch traditions that don’t suit us, patch together a celebration that suits us better. Spend our time with people we want to spend time with, eat what we want to eat, make a new ritual. Perhaps that’s a little of the Southern hemisphere girl in me. It’s not Spring at Easter and it’s not winter at Christmas. Our Santa goes surfing in red and white board shorts, did you know that? So my view about these holidays is always – do what makes you happy. Be with those you like and love. And feast (of course).
What are your Easter traditions and memories? What did you do for Easter this year you want to do again and again?
Hugs, Hannah x