It’s Easter tomorrow. As an atheist, my relationship to Easter is governed by the memories I have of my young children, baskets in hand. And my memories, as is true for many of us, are governed in no small measure by my photographs. An iconic set of photographs, taken by my stepmother*, shows my children sitting on a step outside a playhouse, dressed in Easter clothes. My son is not quite 2. My daughter is going on 5. My son looks very serious, fully occupied by the enormity of the moment. My daughter is alternatively laughing, poking her brother, and fidgeting. My daughter, who when she was 8 burst out crying in the car on the way to school. When I asked her, “What are you crying about?”she said, “Mama, it’s almost Easter. And when we hunt for eggs, I might get jellybeans. And I hate jellybeans….”
They are ready to look for Easter eggs. They wore clothes like this.
Now I look at the almost 19 year old boy, and the 21 year old young woman, and I wonder, how did those little creatures disappear so thoroughly into these grown people? Where did they go? I hope that maybe, if I am so lucky to have grandchildren, I might see traces of them again. But I won’t ask. That would be greedy.
*She sells her stuff to galleries for lots of money. I lucked out in the documenting the lives of my babies arena.