Lessons From Easter


“C’mon,” whined my eleven year old niece. “When are we we gonna have the egg race?”

“The egg race?” I cringed. I’ll pass, thanks, I thought. It’s wet and crummy out. Who the hell wants to run around the yard with an egg in a spoon? Besides, we’ve never done egg races before. Seriously. AGH.

Yep, I was being, as the expression goes, a party pooper.

It had started even days before. I opted to get my hair colored when my sister came over on Good Friday to make Easter bread with my mom. I rolled my eyes when my husband talked about bringing the Muffin to color eggs with her uncles. Then, on Easter day, I snarled at my husband when he hid the plastic eggs in our bedroom (since it was too wet out to hide them outside).

But a strange thing happened as the Easter events unfolded. I got a little happier with each one.

And I slowly remembered what traditions are made of.

They are true labors of love.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned that holidays are work. They don’t just happen. Sure, it seemed that way when we were kids. As a kid, I didn’t give it much thought. The presents were there, eggs were hidden for us to find, fabulous dinners were served. The holidays just were.

On some level, of course, I knew that they were work. I watched my grandmother make her lists of preparations for any and every holiday. She had her menu planned out and timed perfectly so that everything would come together just when it should. But mostly, I just sat back and enjoyed the day that my grandparents or parents and aunts and uncles had worked so hard to get ready so that they would be special for us. And they were.

Now, my sisters and I have children of our own, and it’s our turn to make the holidays special for them. It’s easy to say,”Oh, just forget it.” Or “Can’t we just skip that?” And I guess we could forget this or skip that. There are times, living across the country away from my family, I have. And then I’ve wondered why the holidays didn’t feel like holidays.

But I’m back now. And I guess I needed to be reminded.

So last week, you would have found me thinking that  it seemed rather ridiculous to hard boil eggs and sit around the table and dye them just because the calendar tells us to. Or how silly it was to make this certain recipe because it happens to be this particular day of the year.

Because really, I was worse than a party pooper. I had forgotten that it’s those very things, as little or inconsequential as they seem taken individually and out of context, that make the holidays the holidays.  And I had forgotten that it’s my turn to help make them happen.

But then I saw how much fun Muffin was having dumping her eggs into three different colors of dye.

And then, I got to bust my brother-in-law about hoarding all the Easter bread (that we had thanks to my sis, LeeAnn and my mom– and no help from me!)

And then I watched Muffin hunt for eggs with her uncles on Easter morning while repeatedly asking, “But where’s the purple one?” And then hunt for more later with her cousins.

And then I got to eat a fabulous dinner (again, thanks to my mom and sister) with my family.

And finally, there was my niece whining for the umpteenth time about the damn egg race.

“Okay, Izzy. If you really want me to, I will.”

So we all went outside with our spoons and our colored eggs, and off we raced. My brother-in-law kicked our asses. My sister, in total Ab Fab style, ran the race with her spoon and egg in one hand and a wine glass in the other.

And you know what?

We laughed.

And laughed.

And my other sister asked, “Why haven’t we done this before?” And we decided the egg race will be added to our holiday tradition.

And for the first time in a long time, it felt like Easter.


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  1. LeeWee says:

    That egg race was fun! I’m starting to think of how we can incorporate egg races into Thanksgiving but I don’t think a turkey will fit on a spoon. :)


  2. Pam says:

    Loved this one….keep writing! Made me realize how lucky we r to get to do all these wonderful traditions with our families…


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