This morning, Zosia and I gathered all of the Easter eggs we dyed yesterday afternoon, a loaf of bread we picked up at the local bakery, and drove down to the little Polish church a few towns over.
Can you spot my little one and her beloved great-Aunt?
Those of you who have known our family for a while remember the church. It's the church where Ben and I got married almost six (!) years ago... a little stone church tucked away a little green neighborhood. But that's just part of the way this church fits into our story, my family's story. It's the church that I was baptized in, that my sister was baptized in.
My parents lived in a little room off the back of the rectory when they first moved here-- a tiny room with no air conditioning that was small and empty, save for the Polish hospitality that flowed freely.
We took our basket and our prayers and laid them at the altar for the blessing. She loved every bit of it. Later, while we were eating lunch, Zosia told me that was her favorite part-- a Polish blessing in a dim church filled with big and little baskets, covered in lace handkerchiefs and decorated with sprigs of fresh plants, the handiwork of other mamas and children like herself. What can I say? She's a child after my own heart, loving the stillness and mystery of ritual... the magic that you can feel in such a moment.
It was a pilgrimage, really. I showed my little one the beginnings of our family here in America, the beginning of the story that would grow to include her and her sister, her mama and her daddy.
We walked around outside, bought a few Polish treats, and I noticed that Zosia, our sweet introvert, was more at ease than ever, walking up to strangers and talking, playing with all the children. I think that children can somehow just feel that they belong somewhere. She was surrounded by families just like ours-- with mamas and babas chatting in Polish, little children playing in English, and colorful names like Bartek and Zosia (she wasn't the only one) and Ania. Children whose faces mirrored that beautiful round Polish face that she has inherited.
I wish you all a beautiful and sacred Easter, filled with joy and resurrection.