Mar 30, 2010

Easter is Coming

Hippity, hoppity – Easter is really on its way. This Saturday, I took my son to the park for the town egg hunt. This year, it gave me a slightly bittersweet feeling to see just how big he has grown. He’s not the cute little boy wearing an Easter basket upside down on his head anymore. This year, he was one of the nonchalant big kids on the sidelines, feeling a bit too old to be chasing down plastic eggs stuffed with candy. A sadder thought than my son being too old for egg hunts and trick-or-treating is thinking about the loss of candy. This year, his big sister and I clued him in on why we make sure he gets to hunt those eggs – we raid his candy. Granted, we could go to the store and buy candy, but does it taste the same? No. It’s a good thing he’s not too fond of sweets and is nice about sharing.

Easter and Halloween are the two holidays that bring out the pagan and the hedonist in me. Here in the country where we live, the baby cows and sheep are frolicking now, the grass is greening, the daffodils and crocuses are blooming, and the birds are singing and nesting. It seems natural to give thanks to the goddess for all the vibrant life and to indulge in the delights of the senses. When I worked as a cake decorator, I especially loved the colors we used at Easter, like lavender, yellow, light green, and pink. It’s almost impossible to be anything but cheerful when you look at those colors.

It’s a happy holiday for children. Besides the treats and goodies, there are egg hunts and egg dying. Egg dying is a sacred ritual for me, even though I’m the only one in the house eating the eggs. No matter how many times in my life I put the white vinegar and food coloring into the boiling water in a cup, I know I will always get a thrill. There is a magical-ness to the whole act of dipping and checking the tint of the egg until it looks just right. Almost every child is eager to handle the eggs as soon as possible. How is it that dyed eggs even feel transformed? Don’t they feel smoother to the touch?

Here’s a little tip I found in Family Fun magazine: to help youngsters dye eggs without dropping them or getting dye all over their hands, put the egg into a wire whisk before dipping in the dye. Genius! I got out my whisk and, sure enough, it works just like a little cage to hold the egg. No fuss, no muss. Not just for kids! Really now, how many of us were ever able to balance each and every egg in that wire lifter thing-a-majig that came with our dye kits?

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