Easter always has meant church first and giving thanks to Jesus for his sacrifices for us, then spending the day with our earthly family of loved ones, breaking bread together, hunting for Easter eggs, and giving everyone—young to old–a chocolate Easter bunny on their way home .
This year, we are especially fortunate because Easter 2013 brought five generations of our family under one roof. It was the introduction of the great great grandparents to their great great grandchildren—twins, 16-months old, Sarah and Brandon.
The Unspoken Dichotomies between Generations
Seeing the spectrum of five generations of family together for the first time was this Easter’s extra blessing to our family. A true dichotomy between generations became quite noticeable —the twins full of energy and new to walking and talking were spending their day exploring life to its fullest, and along the way learning to communicate their questions about their many new surroundings and family members.
Their father’s role changed from hanging out with the other guys in the family to focusing on being a new parent; changing dirty diapers, feeding the never ending appetites of two young adventurers, and softening their landings whenever and wherever their toddling got a little unsteady or out of control.
Meanwhile, great great grandmother was busy trying to understand who these wonderful babies were and how they were related to each other and to her. She frequently repeated her questions about them and their relationship to various family members, and finally declared that her mother’s mother had three sets of multiple births and that’s how we came to receive another set of twins in our family.
In between dozes, great great grandfather sat uncomfortably with debilitating diabetic neuropathy in his legs, watching the young ones in amazement at their “Eveready bunny” energies and explorations. He noted their sweet innocence–how everything in the world was right with them and everyone they met was an instant friend.
Their paternal grandfather in his mid-forties was still trying to get comfortable with his new title and role—all the while, helping to keep an eye on the newbies, and being gatekeeper between the dogs, the stairs, and the babes—the quiet protector. And the quite attractive, professional, working grandmother was totally absorbed in baby play, hugs, and kisses that were being freely exchanged.
Similarly, great grandfather, the senior protector of the family, struggled with his self-image transitioning from “a really cool, guy” to a “a really cool, great grandfather.”
Aunts, uncles, cousins, and other guests were in and out and all noticing the change in the family dynamics and especially the interactions of the twins with all their newly discovered family and friends.
As for me, the chief cook and general caregiver of our family unity and history—well, I’ll put it into words of my sister-in-law as she was saying goodnight: “I just realized, you’re a great grandmother now!”
When the goodnight’s were over, I was really exhausted and ready for bed, but, I would give anything if I could have had time stand still for a while longer. I would have captured more intimate moments between the great great grandparents who have to struggle daily with life’s challenges as a result of the not so gracious and demeaning processes that go along with aging and the great great grandchildren who happily bounce their ways through daily new adventures and experiences bringing joy to themselves and everyone they encounter. And, as I look for images to savor over time—we definitely have to ensure these precious moments that may never come again are captured in photos for future generations.
Finally, and most importantly, thank you, Jesus, our family’s center, because all things were created through You and for You.