Covering parenting and child development issues
"Tradition is a guide and not a jailer." (W. Somerset Maugham)
On Friday evenings, we go out to eat, then to Target for groceries and miscellany. Last Friday night, we ran into one of my daughter’s basketball coaches, who was doing some last minute Easter shopping. One of the items on her list was plastic eggs for an Easter egg hunt. I told her I wished we’d known she’d needed them, as we have a bin full of them, and a sixteen-year-old who no longer searches for plastic eggs on Easter morning.
For many Easters, those hunts were an important part of our Sunday morning tradition. When my daughter was small, we recreated the hunts (with empty eggs) several times on Easter, and on a few occasions, for several days afterward. She took such delight in finding those eggs, even when they no longer contained the goodies that made them so desirable the first time around. We hid her basket, too, and though it wasn’t difficult to find a target so large in our small house, she enjoyed the thrill of tracking it down.
My husband asked me today when she’d stopped hunting for those plastic eggs -- how many Easters has it been? I don’t know -- though I’ll bet my daughter does -- but I do know that just writing about it now makes me smile. Traditions are part of the fabric of family life, and while it’s important that the fabric is strong enough to withstand years of repeated use, it’s important for it to have some give as well.
Several years ago, I began hosting Easter dinner. I’m not the best cook in our family, nor is our dining room even large enough to hold all of us at one time without some serious maneuvering. But that never seems to be a problem. Every year, we gather around a table stocked with baked ham, baked macaroni and cheese and green beans from my husband’s summer garden. The rest of the meal varies from year to year, but those three items are staples.
This year, my dad wasn’t able to travel, and so we took our Easter on the road. We packed up the ham and green beans, along with the cheese for the macaroni and cheese in a cooler, made the meal in my parents’ kitchen and ate dinner around their dining room table. It wasn’t as cramped as the dining room table at our house, and so there was plenty of room for gratitude. The setting was different, but the food was the same and we were happy to be together.
Last night, my daughter asked my husband if he was going to hide her Easter basket this year. We chuckled about it last night, but as the first one up, my husband gladly obliged, prolonging that particular tradition just a little bit longer.
Whatever you celebrate and however you celebrate it, I wish you much happiness on this beautiful (Easter) day. I’m have no doubt, however, that if you remember that the what and the how are less important than the who, that happiness will be easier to find than an Easter basket in a small suburban cape cod.