Each year we would get to go shopping for an Easter outfit.
My parents didn’t make us get frilly dresses or even something dressy, they just wanted us to get something we would wear.
I think all those years of getting us the frilly stuff only to wear once or twice, only for us to outgrow, made them realize that practical was better than traditional.
My favorite Easter outfit to date has to be the year I was in sixth grade, I got a Pepsi shirt with cartoon animals on it (all enjoying refreshing Pepsi, of course) there was another t-shirt underneath it to layer with it. My jeans that were long enough to tag roll (I think that is what they were called) 2 pairs of socks to layer and my Reebok Hightops with the double velcro top.
Each year we would get an Easter basket. Depending on which house I was at would dictate what exactly was in my basket (and yes some years I got two baskets because I am just cool like that)
I like sweets, but I have to be in the mood for them and I am kind of a snob when it comes to candy. But I could eat my weight in Cadbury Eggs. The ORIGINAL Cadbury Eggs.
Don’t try to give me some knock off egg or even those caramel ones that Cadbury tries to pawn off on you people. I want the full sized eggs and I want a lot of them.
There is also a certain way to eat the said eggs, but that is a post for another day
After a while my parents decided against the whole basket thing and went with getting us stuff that we would like.
I would get a sleeve of Cadbury Eggs and I was in heaven.
The tradition continued year after year.
After I had the girls he would come over and bring them each a chocolate bunny and some sort of sugary breakfast treat. (My dad was totally the guy that would get the giant danish for his one year old granddaughter and expect her to eat the whole thing in one sitting, even when the giant danish was bigger than her head!)
He always went to Malley’s to get the Easter Bunnies for the girls (and the nephews as well) and they do not sell Cadbury Eggs. So he decided that he would get me a box of Chocolate Covered Strawberries.
I am not sure if I have ever mentioned it here, but I HATE Chocolate Covered Strawberries. Some of my friends wonder what kind of freak I am to hate chocolate Covered strawberries….but rest assured I hate them a lot.
Each year I would smile and thank him for the strawberries.
Each year he would see the fake smile on my face and then remember that I hated Chocolate Covered Strawberries. And each year he would say the same thing when he realized that I hated them.
“Damn it Heather, why didn’t you call me and tell me that you didn’t like these? I still can’t believe you don’t like them. They are chocolate. They are from Malley’s!! Just share them with Jeremy and the girls.”
And so it went for years. He would pull up in whatever box van he was driving at the time a couple days before Easter with the strawberries and the bunnies and assorted other treats and then he would be on his way.
Most years those strawberries sat in my fridge and started to ferment. Sometimes the girls would get one or two. Jeremy would sometimes polish off the box or I would share them with friends. But each year, I looked forward to them.
It was a very weird tradition. Who looks forward to getting a gift that makes them gag?
Each year when I hear a box van driving around my heart beats a little faster in anticipation that my dad is going to pull up with my Chocolate Covered Strawberries and each year my brain has to remind my heart that dad has been gone for years now and that I won’t be receiving any Malley’s Chocolate Covered Strawberries on this side of Eternity. And then I wonder, are there box vans in Heaven? Does my dad drive around delivering Malley’s Chocolate Covered Strawberries to those he loves up there? Would I eat them? Would I love them?
And then I realize that I would eat as many boxes of Chocolate Covered Strawberries as it took just to have one more Easter with him.