Friday, April 22, 2011

An Egg of One's Own

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When I was a little girl I remember spending hours dying Easter eggs with my family. My mom would smooth old newspapers over our kitchen table, set out a dozen teacups full of hot water, vinegar, and food coloring, and then let us go to it. I never remember her hounding us about being careful not to spill, or getting annoyed when our hands were stained green for days afterward. She was such an easy going mom when it came to stuff like that, and I wonder why I didn't get that gene. I feel like wrapping  my entire kitchen in plastic before we dye Easter eggs, or better yet, send them outside!

In our family the most important part of dying Easter eggs was creating a "name egg." We were each allowed to dye lots of eggs, but my mom would give us one special egg that had our name written on it with a white crayon. Once we finished dying it our name would show through in clear, crisp white letters. My dad was always in charge of hiding the eggs, but once the hunt began we had a strict rule that you couldn't pick up someone else's "name egg." It was the one egg that was yours and yours alone. With so many kids in our family we were forced to share most things in life, and so having an egg of your own felt like a sacred charge.

Most of my holiday memories, from the earliest right up until I graduated from high school and moved out, are a patchwork of various traditions. Since my parents were divorced and I spent time in both of their homes during the holidays, it seems that every year brought something new. But the "name eggs" were one tradition that stuck. And so as we gear up to celebrate Easter with our girls, and I consider what is most meaningful about this time of year, along with the more earnest topics of faith and belief I plan to share with them the tradition of creating their very own "name egg."

An egg of one's own. I think Virginia Woolf might have laughed at this notion!

Happy Easter!

3 comments:

  1. I love it - and I agree. Virginia Woolf would think it was funny.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sorry - me again - just had to say WOOT! I'm allowed to comment again!

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  3. I smiled as soon as I saw it was you who commented. Glad you got it working!

    ReplyDelete

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