Last year Easter was . . . chaotic. I was in the throes of first trimester fatigue/sickness/misery and paled at the thought of smelling of smoke from the Easter fire and staying up well past midnight at the Vigil.  Jac had tried to rally me to prep Easter baskets in advance but I could barely stay awake until bedtime, let alone past it to do anything so Holy Saturday found us with our bed buried under pastel eggs and plastic grass and enough candy to make anyone sick happy.  We whispered conspiratorially and divied up the loot.  Alas, baskets were found wanting and Jac insisted on a very quick trip to Walgreens (“We still have to do dinner, showers, hair, and clothes, remember?  Please be fast!”) for a few more things.

He was gone maybe 7 minutes when, as I was feeling like we just might get everything done, I heard


*t i n k l e* * t i n k l e *



I knew immediately that something was VERY wrong.

I ran towards the dining room and first saw the horrified expressions of the kids, each of them frozen in shock. The next moment I saw the shattered glass and Gemma in a rapidly gowing puddle of dark blood.  The bottom of a pint glass was broken into menacing shards, the largest dripping blood.  As I picked Gemma up, it was clear that the shard had cut into her scalp though through the hair and gore I couldn’t tell how deeply or badly.  And the blood was ev-er-y-where.

It was terrifying.

Somewhere my brain reminded my voice to stay calm.  I asked Max to grab a clean towel.  I sent Tess to find my phone.  I assured Gemma and the kids and myself that she was fine, everything was fine, it was going to be fine. Some how I dialed Jac and told him over the screaming that I needed him home and maybe he could pick up some bandaids?

At some point Sabine came upstairs and soon we had plenty of help, Gemma was calmed, we attempted to glue things together and we moved on to clean up the carnage.

We were all still a little shaky as Mass started that night.

Fast forward to Easter Monday which just happened to be April Fools.  Oh, the excitement!  Oh, the joy of coloring the milk!  The kids were giddy to “fool” us and each other and, truthfully, disappointed that we had done nothing in return. I can’t remember who had the idea – Jac or I – but we watched the kids playing in the waning twilight and we walked past the boys room strewn with LEGOs we had repeatedly asked them to clean up and there it was.  Should we?? we giggled.  We knew it might scar them for life in light of the events two nights before.  It might also be the greatest thing ever!  We doubled down and did it.


“MAX! PHILIP!  I need your help!” Jac hollered.  “Hurry!  Mom’s hurt!”

Their concern, for the 8 seconds I could keep from laughing, was real.

“Oh my goodness, oh my goodness!  What do we do? What do we do?”

But then I snorted out a laugh just as the girls entered the room.  Everyone claimed that they knew it wasn’t real and that we weren’t funny. They also vowed they would clean up their mess.

 That claim was the best prank of the day.