First Easter

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMadeleine's first Easter is waking up to a house that smells like cinnamon and hot cross buns. It is long, exploratory walks into the northern suburbs in slanting sunshine. It's wind that, at long last, admits autumn has arrived and freshens the stale old air. Madeleine's first Easter is crawling like a speed-demon through improvised tunnels on the floor of a public lounge; it's discovering the delights of pumpkin and green beans and carrots; it's a first little tooth shyly peeping up beneath drool-damp gums.

Chasing chickens and rabbits and lambs in a petting zoo. Me catching Madeleine's hand and cautioning "Gentle," as she tries to pull the horns off a very patient little black goat. Belly-laughs; pointy-toe bouncing in Dad's arms; a new sound (or is she calling someone we know?): "NAnnnnnaaaaa."

Madeleine's first Easter is picnics on her great-grandmother's crocheted rug, and oft-thwarted attempts to crawl off the rug and eat the grass. It is a golden chocolate egg (forbidden!) and soft, brown bunny-ears (adorable!) from Aunty Tonia. It is infectious joy, and overwhelming love.

And it is only half done.