My oldest on Sunday went out into the damp yard and hid Easter eggs for the youngest. Thing One is only nine, and I remember doing the same for younger cousins as if it was yesterday, but at twelve.
There I was, at 7:00 AM, with more eggs—both real and plastic—I had ever seen in one spot. The job seemed easy enough. Hide the eggs: be clever for the older kids, easy for the young ones.
And it was easy, if a bit lonely. By 7:30 I was done. By 8:30 the hordes of small children arrived. The boys in their little suits with ties, the girls in their little yellow and white dresses with white tights and hair pinned up. It was awfully cute and adorable. Toddlers and children running to and fro like overdressed waves on a green beach, shrieking like seagulls.
At some point, I looked over to my cousin, one of those second or third cousins I saw on occasion. She was watching the laughing and running masses just as I was. We were the same age. She wasn’t the prettiest girl, at least I used to think, but there she was in a Sunday dress wearing makeup and showing the beginnings of a feminine figure.
Something in my brain clicked right then and the feeling was as intense as it was new. It wasn’t a specific feeling towards my suddenly pretty cousin, but something odd and weird. I looked at the children, babies, and toddlers before me and wanted a child of my own. Then, my cousin caught me looking at her and she grinned. It was a mischievous grin, a pixie grin. Her eyes were also smiling, a brown-eyed question of possibilities and an invitational dare.
That’s why every Easter Sunday, I think of breeding.