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Getting ready for the Easter holiday is always a fun one at my house. My husband and I are focused on the fact that the weather is getting nicer which means yard work, mowing the lawn, and Spring cleaning. Meanwhile, the kids are hyped up for a long weekend from school, some warmer days turning into later nights, and the anticipation of what has basically become Spring Christmas on the mind.
Dyeing eggs has never been my favorite task. They look pretty in the end, but the process gets me every year. I would think that after celebrating multiple Easters as a family with young children, I would have the process down. Prepare the eggs well in advance so they are cool to the touch for little hands, cover the table with newspaper or a plastic tablecloth, each kid gets their own set of plastic cups, the same amount of eggs, maybe even their own egg dye kit if their tastes are extremely different (like my little ladies—one is all glitter and bling and the other is all about rainbows and tie dye). No cups of egg dye and vinegar are gonna fly this year—not on my watch. I got this.
I had all these things checked off my list this year… it was going to be awesome. Maybe this year it would be fun—finally!
No such luck there. My foolproof egg dyeing plan did not account for one slight hiccup—the attitudes that can come along with a seven and nine year old. Timing is everything in life. Tired kids, even when they’re entering the tween phase, are cranky if they haven’t had enough sleep and spent the day out with a friend, or had a two hour goalie clinic. Not ideal egg-dyeing attitudes.
There is the rivalry over whose eggs look nicer, then the competition to see if one can be done faster than the other, not because we have anywhere to be, but because everything is pretty much a competition when you’re siblings. Finally, there is the taste-testing. This makes my husband and I both pretty happy because we have birthed notoriously picky eaters. But, then that turns into a competition—who is better at cracking the eggs. One likes the egg white, so of course the other prefers the yolk. I am quickly coming to the realization that there will be absolutely no end to this—the source of the competition will morph to friends, clothes, and makeup, and later to college and career, but the competition will continue and, in the end, there will never be a winner.
This is just another one of those things that will make my husband and I laugh as the kids get older and we find it funny that something that seems so simple and fun, like dyeing eggs, could turn a pleasant, sunny afternoon into a tornado of swirling emotions within seconds.
One day, we will laugh about it the way we now laugh at my older daughter’s first Easter egg hunt. She was in a large field filled with eggs, tons of kids, fancy basket in hand, and sneakers primed for egg hunting. The whistle blew, and away she went. Unfortunately, we were novice parents at that time and didn’t realize the need to ‘practice’ egg hunting. Who knew she wouldn’t just look around and see what the other kids were doing and copy that?!?! Nope, not our girl. We should have known then that Easter was not going to be our holiday. She ran from one end of that field to the other as fast as could (thank goodness for those sneaks!), but did not pick up a single egg! My husband caught up to her at the end of the field while I stayed back with our infant. He showed her what to do and she quickly made up for lost time.
When this happened, I felt like the worst mom ever. How is it that I assumed that she would know how to hunt for eggs?!?! But now, it is funny and I smile every time I think about it.
Every moment like that turns into a memory. And those memories bring a smile as years pass and the rose-colored glaze of nostalgia wipes away any of the negativity associated with that moment.
We will, no doubt, color Easter eggs with our grandchildren one day and laugh at how this tradition caused so much stress when our girls were young. Time is funny like that and I will appreciate the irony then.
But, right now, I’m sweeping egg shells off my counter.
Wishing you a blessed Easter from our family to yours!!