The first time I brought my boyfriend home to meet my parents was also Easter. And my boyfriend is Jewish. Whoops.
Looking back on it, I give him credit for putting up with so much craziness on such a religious-oriented holiday. My family is big and Italian and I can only imagine how overwhelming and nerve-wracking it must have been to walk into a room crowded with hungry, tipsy Italians and remember everyone's names, let alone impress them.
I'd never brought a boyfriend home before — never even had a boyfriend to bring home. I actually wasn't even sure that my boyfriend was really my boyfriend yet (we hadn't made it official). So picking one of the biggest holidays of the year wasn't exactly my smoothest decision, but I didn't really think that far ahead.
My boyfriend showed up with flowers, gave hugs and kisses and handshakes and dove right into the process of getting to know my family. At the time, my grandfather was pretty ill and it rocked my whole family. But my boyfriend handled it with ease, falling in love with my Poppy's old world manners, his adorable sense of humor and the general fact that everyone around him was obsessed with him. I watched as he and my boyfriend built a bond that would last, even though none of us knew for how long.
When my boyfriend met my dad and my brother, I was nervous. Physically, they both tower over people. At 5'9 and 6'4, the site of them is all but terrifying. And with years of athletics behind both of them, they both command a room. I was nervous thinking about how my long and lean, 6'1 skater boy boyfriend would feel pitted up next to them. But when you give people the opportunity to step up to the plate, they usually surprise you. And they did.
I was a little nervous for dinner, keeping in mind the fact oh, well, my boyfriend is Jewish and we were sitting down to a Roman Catholic meal. We typically say grace at dinner before digging in and though my insides fluttered with butterflies, my boyfriend just bowed his head and kept to himself. It's moments like that — and so many others — that remind me to be thankful for his easygoing attitude.
But the real magic of the holiday didn't come lie in the fact that it was the first time that he'd met my parents or that he was a Jew at an all-Catholic lunch. The first time I brought my boyfriend home to my parents wasn't just Easter Sunday. It was also the first time I'd told my boyfriend I loved him.
It was later that night, when we were tucked comfortably into bed, that the words pored out of me faster than I could stop them. I'd always promised myself that I wouldn't say it until I really, really knew that I meant it and in that moment, reflecting back on the day we'd just survived — the mountain we'd just both climbed — that feeling of love and adoration was so strong and so amazing. It was all I could do to get it out without flubbing over the words.
In typical family-holiday fashion, our day was crazy, filled with awkward silences, unsure laughs and uncomfortable hugs but would I do it again? In a heartbeat.