p(image-left). !/assets/26010/msteadman.jpg(Maraya Steadman)! When my first child was an infant, I had fantasies about motherhood and parenting that were sweet and gentle. One of my fantasies had to do with books. I love books. I decided that for holidays I would buy books relative to the celebration and keep them in a decorative basket in the front room. Then at story time we would sit together and read. My children would cuddle up next to me and ask questions and look forward to reading together. And some day, when interviewed by a women’s magazine about their favorite childhood memories, they would mention the holiday books. One of our Easter books is a colorful board book with basic prose and no scary crucifixion pictures or gory details about soldiers and swords or thorny blood-soaked crowns to haunt your toddler. I like it. So one morning we sat in the front room and I read from _The Story of Easter_, by Patricia A. Pingry, illustrated by Lorraine Wells. _Spring also brings Easter. On Easter we_ “Move! Move over! Move over! Mommy, William won't let me see!” “Move Sarah! Move Sarah!” “OK, OK, OK, stop pushing each other. Do not hit him, he’s your little brother. Honestly, there is enough room for both of you to sit beside me and listen to the story. _remember Jesus_ “Did you just bite her? Do not bite your sister! Guys, this story is about Jesus, so pay attention!” _loved all boys and girls_ “There, look,Sarah, there’s the baby Jesus.” “No, William. That is _not_ the baby Jesus. Jesus is a grown-up. That is Jesus.” “No! Baby Jesus, Baby Jesus, Baby Jesus, right there, Sarah! Baabeeeee Jesus!” “William, that is _not_ the baby Jesus.” “Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Sarah, if William wants the baby in the picture to be Jesus then that’s OK. We all find Jesus in our own way. Let it go.” “Well, that is _not_ Jesus. Jesus is on the donkey.” _On Easter … we go to church_ “I go to church, Mommy?” “William, I'm not sure you would like going to church.” “Yeah, I get to go church, I get to go to church, na, na, na, na, na. I get to go to church.” “I wanna go to church, I wanna go to church, I wanna go to church.” “You can't, you’re too little.” “Sarah, maybe I will go to church with your brother and leave you here. Except that I think you could benefit from some time spent thinking about Jesus.” “What, that he rode on a donkey and then he died?” _Jesus loved us_ “Look, Sarah, that’s you.” “Yeah, there I am. I am the girl in the bonnet with the pretty dress. I’m so pretty. And there's a ducky. And that’s you, William. See, you are the boy in the tie. And there is a basket of eggs.” “What’s the Easter bunny going to bring us for Easter, Mommy?” “Candy.” “Yeah, candy, yeah, candy! Candy, candy, candy! Candy, candy, candy! _so much that he gave his life for us so that we can live too._ “Can we watch TV?”
_Maraya Steadman, who lives in a Chicago suburb, is a stay-at-home mother of three children. She can be reached at_ "email@example.com":mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.
_You can order_ The Story of Easter through Amazon _or Google the book's name for other outlets._