7 hours ago
Sunday, February 21
Although I had a terrible childhood in most ways, I did enjoy the holidays. I very much liked participating as much as I was allowed. I was extremely shy, even in my own home, where a small misstep could earn a child both emotional and physical abuse, and where my parents and older siblings were scathing and unkind about being timid. My family also ascribed to the idea that if a person were ill, or had a deformity, or a weakness, it was because they wanted it to be so. Because I was constantly sick from malformed and malfunctioning tonsils, I have moderate hearing loss, have a damaged heart, and was very weak physically. I was also extremely myopic, which particularly angered my mother.
My parents didn't particularly like children, and they had many of us. By the time my brother closest to me in age came along, and then me, my mother was completely sick of children. Our older siblings were almost grown or actually grown and married, and we last two were unwelcome additions, neglected and easy prey for the cruel and the perverted.
But my mother did go through the motions of Easter, somewhat. We dyed a couple of eggs each, and we had to eat the eggs later. The Depression years had deeply imprinted my parents.
We had Easter baskets, too, and used the same ones from year to year. Mine was yellow and blue, and it was that high-handled kind, with a flared basket, and I recall that the reeds were quite delicate. Our cellophane grass was always green. I think that pink and yellow were available at that time, but I'm not sure. Certainly none of the colors you can get now were common.
Of course, I never believed in the Easter Bunny, or Santa. My elder siblings had joyfully made sure I knew that none of the magical aspects of childhood were true. I still loved all the trappings of each holiday, though.
As an adult, I taught myself pysanky - the art of the Ukrainian eggs. I have made many dozens of them. And when I had my child, now grown, I made sure he knew he was loved and wanted, and that he could have his own favorite color, and dye lots and lots of eggs, and eat the contents of his basket. And I still make him an Easter Basket each year.