2010-03-31 / Editorials

All That’s Fit to Print

Easter egg memories
Brenda Wall

I wrote this the Easter before Evan came along. He tried out my old basket last year and didn’t think much of it. Oh, well.

I still have my Easter basket. It is a traditional basket with bands of pink, green and blue woven into the sides. The colors are a little faded and the basket itself is a little rickety, but it could still do service, especially in this day of plastic eggs.

I threw out the original grass a long, long time ago. I found a jelly bean tucked in the bottom. I didn’t eat it, but not because I feared it’s age. I’m not much of a jelly bean fan.

The original grass was more paper-like and absorbed some of the moisture from freshly dyed eggs placed on it to dry. Somehow, the eggs didn’t end up with marks from the grass and the grass didn’t fade on the eggs.

If I smell hot vinegar, I immediately start looking for tea cups filled with magical colored liquids and teaspoons and boiled eggs. I can, in my mind, still see an anxious little girl huddled over the cups, carefully dipping in the eggs. The mind is a wonderful thing.

Most children today hunt plastic eggs filled with candy or money. The trend started as we began worrying about boiled eggs being unsafe after rolling around in the grass all afternoon.

Perhaps the plastic egg also offered parents an easy, less messy way of providing the traditional egg hunt. Buy a bag of eggs, cram them with cheap candy and toss them in the flower bed. Plastic. What would we do without it?

Here’s the thing about real, boiled and dyed Easter eggs. The process of cooking the eggs and sitting down with children gathered around and dipping the eggs in the warm, colored vinegar isn’t as much about creating beautiful eggs as it is creating beautiful memories. When you hit my age, you realize that.

We believe when we are young that it is the things we have, not the things we do that matter. Oh, how wrong we are. We might think our children will best remember the piles of junk we give them, but when all is said and done, it is the time we gave them that matters.

It takes more than stuff to create memories. It takes time and while dying Easter eggs can take up a couple of hours, there will come a time in every parent’s life when regret over things not done will fill more than two hours.

We think we are so busy, too busy to do things our parents did for us, or our grandparents did for our parents. In the long run, we always make time for what matters most to us.

Our children matter, of course they do. I think what gets in the way of really appreciating the joys of their childhood is our belief that it lasts longer than it really does. A year seems like such a long time, but it is a fleeting moment that once gone, doesn’t allow do overs.

You’ve still got time to whip up a batch of Easter eggs with your favorite kids. Get hopping. Happy Easter.

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