When did lace ankle socks, white patent leather mary jane’s, a new pastel spring dress, kid gloves, and a new Easter bonnet that complementarily matched your grandma, mom, and sister fade out of style? When did waking up early before the birds as your family got ready for Easter sunrise service go out of style? Why do we wistfully look to kids to bring back the nostalgia of our own childhood, and what each new spring brings to a sleeping world: a chance to begin anew? When is the last time you wore an Easter bonnet? My mom was just asking me the other day if I’d be wearing one in a few days—a gentle reminder to the close-knit family I came from where everything was explained to me, and as I guarded the gift of knowledge, honesty, and innocence unknowingly my parents sowed the seeds of the importance of tradition. In the face of an uncertain world, where we are looking for that special someone, and hoping against hope there will be many tomorrows of hidden Easter eggs that you can skip hand in hand together to find…you quickly realize as the pool of candidates dwindles, and as you get a year older and wiser each year, there is something to acting out family tradition.
Often behind traditions, such as what and how our families choose to celebrate what is the beginning of spring for some, and much more for others lies our value and belief system. When we are in the dating years before we find our partner, the importance of family tradition is often overlooked or given short shrift. Especially if we are away from home going to college, or striking out into the work world on our own—we sometimes miss the very essence of who we are as we busily search for anything that does not remind us of our family. After all we’re establishing ourselves and the message we have to share with the world.
If you’re still looking for the love of your lifetime, if you’re in the beginnings of a committed relationship, if you’re newly married, if your babies are young…there is always time to embrace wearing your new Easter bonnet, and to open up the discussion to what keeps your child-like innocence fresh. Imagine in your 20s today walking around in a new Easter bonnet to attract your mate? What about hiding hand-dyed Easter eggs around your home, and hoping your sweetheart finds your favorite one where the tie-died yellow and blue swirl in green patterns—a perfect metaphor for your lives mixing while each of you remain uniquely separate but inseparable where your lives’ meld? Now, in my 30s—married, with our first child—the conversations from our dating years about what we did as kids each time a holiday rolled around passed too quickly. Now as we raise our son, and as the holidays roll by each year, it becomes increasingly important that we honor the traditions we bring from growing up, and establish new ones with our new or growing family.