Last night we dyed Easter Eggs with several kids at Wesley’s birthday party. Just like I remember as a child, I was unsure whether the kids or adults were having more fun. Mom used to get the egg dyeing assembly line ready in the kitchen before she would allow the kids to come in and make a mess, which is what we specialized in. She prepared the Easter Egg baptistries with ceremony, which is always intriguing to a child. She was always doing things with ceremony and making us kids get out of the way. Perhaps she just wanted five minutes by herself, but in any case, children were not allowed to help set up the dye. (Or carve the pumpkins or make the gingerbread house). Although she sometimes let us watch from our barstools as she mixed the magical potion that changed the color of Easter Eggs.
I don’t remember Mom ever getting the plastic eggs filled with candy: Mom is a traditionalist. We had to find the plastic eggs at the Easter Egg hunt in Uncle Dave’s cow pasture. I did not care for hard boiled eggs as a child, so I was always hopeful that Mom would bring some candy and plastic eggs home from the grocery store. I once snuck a package of candy from the Easter Egg preparation pile on the kitchen table, hoping that she had gotten plastic eggs that year. I took the candy to my bed room where I struggled with the wrapper for a few minutes before I opened a pack of the nastiest Sweet Tarts that I had ever tasted. I spit out the one I had tried, I think it was orange, and dropped the rest of the package down a knothole in the floor of my sister’s room. Which was where you dropped things that you didn’t want anyone to know about.
A few minutes later as Mom was preparing the egg dying ritual, she noticed that the dye was missing. After searching around she asked, “Did somebody take some candy off the table?” She looked at each child in the face as she was asking this. She looked and me and I knew she could tell that I took, and also that I hadn’t brushed my teeth that morning. Mom’s have that way of looking at you.
“Yes.” I confessed. “But it was nasty.” Hoping that this would have been punishment enough.
Realizing my mistake, my desire to dye Easter Eggs overcame the fear of getting a whooping and I told Mom that the dye was under the house. To my surprise, there was no corporal punishment, only laughter. Zach was sent under the house to retrieve the dye and ten years worth of LEGO mini figures, army men, and other assorted items and toys that had been dropped to the abyss (probably with ceremony) through the knothole.
This is a happy story. Mom was able to finish dying the eggs, sans orange, and no one got whipped. Each Easter, we remember this story, which has lasted longer than any Easter Egg, hardboiled or plastic. I am still a bit wary of sweet tarts though.