When I was a little girl Easter was the dawning of spring. My mom, an accomplished seamstress, sewed me and my two sisters twirly Easter outfits – new cotton dresses or skirts and one year, I recall, she even fashioned us bonnets after taking a hat making course. Our family of seven would take the first trip of the year Up North to Vermilion, Alberta to visit my grandparents. On Sunday morning, we’d take the curlers from our heads, shake out our bouncy curls (from our normally pin-straight hair) and deck ourselves out in our new Easter outfits. Despite it being cool enough for crusty snow along the fence and under the trees, it would be a treat to leave off itchy leotards, and pull up instead, brand new white knee socks. I remember the freedom of that – my bare legs eager for a bit of afternoon sun to warm them.
Now I have a granddaughter myself and I no longer have a grandmother. I rarely sew anything and despite having purchased some lovely material, the outfit I bought my granddaughter for an Easter celebration at the family cottage was her first pair of overalls and a bright white onesie with teeny flowers on the collar. But some Easter traditions must be resurrected each year and in the spirit of that, I brought up the famous Paas Easter egg decorating kit and after the two-year-old was tucked up in bed, her mom, and my mom and my sister and I, all dyed the tips of our fingers green and blue and red, in the process of creating the fancy eggs of my youth.
And of course, all of us sentimental and reminiscing adults, laid out an Easter egg hunt for the only wee one young enough to be captivated by the search for the over sized-chocolate-holding plastic egg containers, though still too young to grasp the suggestion that a big bunny placed them in their obvious spots among the crocuses and hyacinths.
Maybe by next year I’ll sew her a twirly dress and find some teeny knee socks – but I think we observed enough tradition to successfully call up the glory of spring.