Friday, April 18, 2014


            There’s something about dying Easter eggs that brings out the comedian in my family.  Make that five comedians.  Between the four kids and St. Bob (really the fifth child), it’s a competition to see who can create the most hilarious egg.
            I, on the other hand (the truly saintly mom, of course), want this to be a reminder of Spring, and of New Life, and Christ’s Resurrection after all, and thus I color my eggs in properly dainty pastels, neatly striped and artistically swirled.  Fat rubber bands block out areas of the egg not to be dyed, and when removed, they reveal an easy two-tone  stripe.  Rubber cement does the same thing, only in curves and brush strokes, reminding me that I am just like Martha Stewart, minus the prison time.
            I’m also a huge fan of dying eggs with silk neckties, and if you want to see how to transfer those patterns to your own eggs, click here.
            My children, on the other hand, think it’s funny to sketch a knife on the egg, then paint blood oozing from a crack they drew with a Sharpie.  Brandon takes delight in painting his eggs camouflage, thus rendering them completely invisible for the outdoor egg hunt.  One year they competed for most disgusting color.  It was a brownish algae hue, as I recall.
            Cassidy forgets the iron etiquette rule of dying, namely Thou Shalt Not Dip the Purple Spoon Into the Yellow Cup, and within minutes, all the cups contain a gray liquid resembling Thai meatball soup.
            Nicole, at thirteen, could apply makeup to her eggs better than a makeup artist, creating faces complete with blush and eyeliner.  Nobody but me cringed when those same eggs were later cracked and peeled, an eery experience once I’d gotten used to the new “people.”
Richie invented a new technique a few years ago, and none of us have been able to copy him so far.  He somehow spins the egg on one end so fast, that he can hold out a soft-tip marker, and make dozens of skinny lines in one continuous spiral.  Of course, he uses ink that smears when it gets wet.  And, naturally, grass is wet.  So any kid who picks up this egg is in for a permanent surprise.
            Bob, who likes to keep his shirt clean, is the most reluctant participant in this dye-splashing, egg-cracking eggstravaganza.  He always chooses one egg, and one egg only, then takes his time to drizzle colors exactly where he wants them.  His egg looks like a Monet pond and lily pads, reflecting irises conveniently scattered near the banks.  

The rest of our eggs suddenly look like the result of a game for psychotics who were blindfolded and told to paint their problems. 
Finally the deed is done, and it’s time to fight over who gets to empty out which dye cup into the sink, to ooh and aah over the gross combinations swirling down the drain.  Newspaper that looks like modern art is gathered up and tossed, and new stains are discovered on everyone’s clothes.  Eggs are stored in the refrigerator for the Easter Bunny to discover during the night.  Somehow, we all go to bed smiling, our fingertips odd shades of blue and orange, our kitchen smelling of sulfur and vinegar, and cellophane grass stuffed into all our baskets, awaiting Peeps and chocolate Bunnies.  And we know it’s Easter once again.
It may be too late to order my books for your Easter baskets, but Mother’s Day is coming up, so hie thee to this link, and your shopping will be done!

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