A little late this year, but Ben and Landon finally got busy with the annual egg-dyeing ritual. The great debate in our house is whether the eggs are supposed to be hollow or hard-boiled–as a kid I always did it the former way, Marina the latter. This year Dad prevailed, and Landon especially enjoyed watching me poke holes in either end of the eggs and blow out the contents (can you guess what we had for breakfast?).

There’s something extremely satisfying about dyeing eggs: the mixing of the magic elixirs, with their alka-seltzer-like tablets fizzing in the vinegar water, the bright primary colors, the calculated times of immersion to achieve the desired vibrancy. The decorating kit we bought included stickers, which Landon initially thought was great fun, but I think he realized that the stickers really don’t add much.

The Easter Bunny left them both little baskets of candy and little trinkets, but those were pretty modest (of course the bargaining began immediately for how many candies could be consumed after breakfast–the answer was zero–and after lunch–the answer was 3).

The highlight of the day was the Easter egg hunt. First we hid eggs for the kids to find, then they hid eggs for us to find. This went on for quite a while, and Landon especially delighted in fooling us. At one point he employed the great trick of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Purloined Letter,” where the object of pursuit is “hidden” in plain sight, where nobody thinks to look for it.

It was a typical cold April Maine morning, with snow spitting down sporadically and a raw chill in the air. We had the woodstove simmering all morning.

I attempted to explain to Landon the story of Jesus’ Resurrection and what Easter commemorates, but it was all very odd to him the idea that some guy could be killed, his body put in a cave, and then days later he comes back to life. I didn’t put it quite like that, but I think that’s how he saw it. We talked a little about the idea of rebirth and hope, which was less challenging to his sense of what’s possible.

I also told the kids what a grand occasion Easter was for their great grandparents in Ohio, when everyone was dressed to the nines and after church Grandma served a sumptuous Easter dinner to a large group of extended family. I remember as a kid participating in a few of those, and anticipating the coming spring and summer which were just around the corner (April in Cleveland’s not a whole lot warmer than Maine!). It’s too bad their generation doesn’t have so many of those extended family occasions, but it seems like that’s the way things have gone for most families today.

So here’s to another season of regeneration and rebirth, may it blossom and bloom in full.


Categories: family


annie · September 12, 2012 at 11:08 pm

Next year, try putting a few drops of vegetable oil on top of the dye, and either stirring it so it is revolving before you put the egg in, or putting the egg in with a twist of the wrist. You will get beautiful swirly patterns like marbled Italian book endpapers, and you can layer on more than one color.

    Ed · September 13, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    Great idea, thanks, we’ll try that next year.

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