I went back and read last year's Easter post, which I remember typing in bed after I spent the day at the hospital. This year, family and friends visited, the teenagers hid the eggs for the little cousins, and we ate every bit of our simple, satisfying meal. As a bonus, the Knicks beat the Bulls in overtime, and a nice man named Bubba hugged his mom and cried after he won the Masters. It was a good day.
Two returned from Europe late Friday night, tired but happy. We got to hear a few stories about the hotels and the beautiful cathedrals, and he distributed small gifts he'd purchased for us all. He gave me a very charming coffee mug, which means he's been paying attention to my work process all these years.
While Two was away, the Captain and I delighted in the effect of a little-known phenomenon called "Minus One." You may be unfamiliar with this if you have fewer than five children, but it is also known as the "No More Than Four" rule. If we remove one child from the mix, the house becomes disproportionately calm. The truly odd component is that it doesn't matter which child leaves. Peace and quiet reigns in every variation.
We have decided this is God's way of illustrating the beauty of family planning. You know, God created Earth first, which means He's heavily invested in protecting it. Too many earthlings are a drain on the natural resources, which is really why humans should follow the "No More Than Four" rule of procreation. There are subtle reminders of this in our daily life. Beer and soda get sold in six-packs. Sure, you can buy a dozen doughnuts, but that means no seconds for one unlucky soul. Heck, even our van only has real seatbelts for six occupants. The poor guy stuck on the 60/40 split in the rear has to use the temporary belt that pulls down from the ceiling. When it's not actively engaged in saving your life, it's trying to strangle you, in order to restore natural balance.
Two had been away from his friends Charlie and Keenan during spring break, so he immediately invited them over on Saturday. By immediately, I mean around two o'clock, after he'd been asleep for twelve hours. We were going to attend Easter Vigil instead of Easter Sunday Mass, but Charlie scored Rangers tickets from a friend, so the Captain took all three boys to Madison Square Garden. The seats were awesome, the Rangers were not, but it was a nice experience for the Captain. He enjoys spending time with his boys, which gets harder as they age. Plus, he's a Rangers fan.
Keenan and Charlie ended up spending the night with us, and at nine-thirty the next morning, we divided up between two cars and went to Mass. We always sit in the front row so the little people can see what's going on, so I imagine our testosterone-filled pew was quite a sight for all the folks behind us.
Before we were married, the Captain and I attended "Marriage Encounter," which is designed to help couples navigate life beyond wedded bliss. There was a seminar on "natural family planning," because the Catholic church isn't big on contraception. I remember being outraged because, at the time, I was a little more vocal about my feminist beliefs. Little did I know that I would become the poster gal for their doctrine. But on Sunday, as I looked down the row and saw boy, boy, boy, boy, boy, little boy, man, and little boy, I couldn't have been more proud.