Saturday, March 22, 2008

FFC - Spring

Sorry I'm a little late with this one. This is my entry for the FFC 2008 Spring edition.

Easter Eve (408 words)
By: Kathleen Oxley

It was Saturday night and Cynthia was tucking one of the last eggs behind a pillow on the sofa. She glanced around the room. Under and around the furniture, bright little plastic eggs peeked out at her. Tomorrow morning was Bryan's fourth Easter and she knew he was going to love running around the house finding the eggs until his basket was full.

Cynthia sighed and sat down on the couch. It was late, almost midnight. She'd checked on Bryan before getting started and he was snoring softly in his room. She had enjoyed filling each of the eggs. There were some with the typical Easter candy, but not too many. Her son was hyper enough without the help of excessive amounts of sugar.

Many of the eggs held small toys - a bouncy ball, matchbox car, etc. Inexpensive trinkets that she picked out carefully, even knowing that Bryan would play with each briefly before moving on to the next item. A few of the eggs even held money - about ten dollars total split up into some singles and some change, with one egg holding a five dollar bill. She planned to take Bryan to the toy store next week to allow him to pick something out for himself.

She silently wished she could do more for him, to give him a big fancy Easter basket filled with new toys. But, she couldn't. This was the best she could do. She knew it would be enough, that Bryan would enjoy hunting for the eggs and that he would get excited about each one and what it held inside. But, she always wished she could do more.

She also hated that Bryan's dad couldn't be here to see him and to celebrate with them. She would take lots of pictures and email them to Martin next week, but it wasn't the same. He was in the Army and had shipped out to Iraq a little over a month ago. He would be gone almost a year this time, and already she felt lost without him. Holidays were always difficult, but she would put on a smile for Bryan and make the best of it.

Tomorrow they would go to church and pray for his safe return, but tonight, Cynthia would go to sleep alone in their bed. She looked around one more time to make sure everything was in place before creeping down the hallway to her room.


A. Catherine Noon said...

Aww. This is touching and sad. It's so true-to-life for the women trying to manage their families in the absence of their men.

Unhinged said...

Oh, garsh. How sad. And realistic in today's world.

My mom told me more than once that she lived "for us kids" and I believe her, even though she made us eat brussels sprouts and smoked sausage.

{{ O }}

Eaton Bennett said...

very moving Kat and very true of so many throughout history, now and sadly in the future.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Oh, Kathleen, that's lovely.

We don't celebrate Easter, but I'm not of the "bigger baskets are better" thinking in general. What matters is the experience -- of opening the eggs and playing with the toys. Those are the things that stay with you forever.

Gwen Mitchell said...

I love the poignant reality of this piece. It touched me on multiple levels, and your clean delivery does it justice. Great job!


Anonymous said...

What a very real story. As the mom of a toddler, I found her wish to be able to give him more very real and a bit sad.

As a side note, I may have to remember this piece and refer to it for next year! Sounds like a wonderful Easter morning!

Evey Brown said...

This is such a sad and poignant story! And true, Bryan would enjoy his day, mom planned it well. But without dad it's no holiday for mom.
I find it exciting that you observe the same rituals for the holiday that we do, however my kids would be floored to find more than a few coins in any of their eggs. The bunny must have run out of bills before he got to our house. :)
Loved the whole tone, left me sad and reflective.