I’ve come a long way since the Easter Freakout of 2008, when my hair straightener broke and I had to attend the celebration of our Lord and Savior with frizzy, stringy, non-coiffed, anti-Southern hair. I did not handle it well, and let’s just say it’s a good thing Jesus died for my sins, cuz I committed a lot of them that morning.
It was my first Easter as a Southerner, albeit a transplanted, flannel-wearing Yankee, but I was aware that I should fix my hair for Easter service, and while I can’t wrangle a hair dryer to save my life, I can at least hit my split ends with a straightener to make it look like I’m trying. I arrived at church to a sea of adorable sundresses and experienced culture shock, as where I’m from, we usually still have frost on the ground come Easter, and sometimes several inches of the wintery white stuff. Sundresses didn’t exist till June, yet here they were, and everyone’s hair looked great. God definitely loved me less, in my stupid slacks and stringy, unkempt hair.
Those days, I felt like I failed a lot. Fail fail faily faily failure. And though I’ve come a long, long way, yesterday, I was tempted to return to that Easter Freakout moment. On Saturday night, I made Resurrection cookies with the kids, which are basically meringue cookies with meaning assigned to each ingredient. I must’ve been a wee scanty on the whisking into “stiff peaks,” because my meringues were less meringuey and more oozy. I hoped halfheartedly that they’d raise up a little by morning as I put them in the oven.
On Easter morning, I took them out and Elliott said, “Mom, these don’t look like they usually do.” Yup. They’re supposed to be hollow inside, to represent the empty tomb, but our tombs were filled with gooey, uncooked egg whites. They were not risen. They were not risen indeed.
Then I went upstairs and decided to use a different kind of deodorant. Why, why, would I branch out from my usual all-natural, aluminum-free hippie deodorant on a morning when I’m wearing my sleeveless Need More Coffee teeshirt?
I was wearing my Need More Coffee teeshirt because if I tried to wear a pretty dress, I’d end up back at the mental state of my Easter Freakout of 2008. For the last couple of years in order to protect my own thoughts from my own crazy train, I dress extra down on Easter so I can remember why I’m there, to join Mary Magdalene in the wonder of an empty tomb. (Note “my own, my own.” Dresses are awesome and not everyone is crazy like me. I wore a dress the week before.)
So, switching up the hippie deodorant with a sleeveless shirt on Easter. Not my brightest moment. A few minutes later, I raised my arm and realized that this horrible new deodorant was forming a gelatinous white paste in my pits. This really wouldn’t be a big deal, except that I’m a hand-raiser.
Yeah, I’m a hippie deodorant-wearing, stringy-haired hand-raiser. This pit problem was not going to fly. So my Easter morning was spent scraping flat meringues off a cookie sheet and white paste off my armpits.
But yay, I really have grown as a person, because in fact, I didn’t freak out, and when I started to mentally berate myself about the dumb cookies and how I’ve really lost my kitchen mojo of late, I just slid on my flip flops, went to church, and reached up to the Savior who doesn’t see any failure in me.
My cookies weren’t risen, but He is risen indeed.