One of the incredible benefits of being a child of a bicultural family is the great knowledge, traditions and exposure from two worlds. When it came to Easter, my Cuban fathers’ interpretations had zero to do with a bunny or colored eggs. His ideas were focused around the religious meanings, and as with any important day that meant a big Cuban party. My Irish, US-born mother raised us anxiously waking on Easter morning to search for the basket left by the illusive bunny and hunting for colored eggs with our rambunctious cousins in the afternoon.
With my own children, I took the best of both worlds (Cuban parties and bunnies) and came up with the idea of an Easter party the weekend before the holiday. I host every holiday through the year and it is stressful and sometimes I can’t really enjoy them. An extra celebration a week early is truly a gift. The first Easter party was in 2007 when Sofia was 26 months and Giana six months. It started with an intimate group and has grown to include about 20 children at times.
I send handwritten invitations to all the families on the list. When everyone arrives for the Easter party, the table is set with: copies of Peter Rabbit, egg coloring items and sweet treats. Immediately, we dive into the egg coloring in all its chaotic perfection. I painstakingly boil just under 100 eggs the day before so each child has 7 to color. Once the eggs are colored and set to dry, it’s on to community reading. Together, we read the nostalgic work of Beatrix Potter. Each child, or parent depending on age, takes turns reciting a few pages while the entire group engagingly listens. We cheer on each other and especially new readers. Then comes the egg hunt-the parents join in on the fun and hide the eggs inconspicuously throughout the house. With rules for fairness, the ecstatic kids take off. The energy in their eyes and wonder in their smiles is a treat for every parent in the room. The excitement is palpable. Confections are next, and as long as there is no inclement weather, we always send kites soaring into the sky at the end of the party.
In this fast-paced, iPlugged-in practically radioactive world we live in, it is so nice to have a day where everyone’s expectations are compassionate focus on our families, collectively. I’m chagrined with the necessary technological advancements our kids live with, and miss those simple days of my own childhood when we went out to safely play all day where life and imagination were just-easy. Making a deliberate effort with your family and friends to slow the world down, even just for a day, is significant. Whether Easter or a summer day theme is just semantics, all that matters is the focus. Try your own family day where the biggest task is ordering pizza or boiling eggs so you, the host-usually mom, can engage and find joy with everyone.
The key: Create a day that works within your lifestyle; ensure its focus is the children with their committed parents by their side as the platform for love and community.
Trina M. Fresco, Vice President of Operations for the IT firm smarTECHS.net since 2007 and NBCLatino Contributor, was named one of “50 Powerful Minority Women in Business” by MEA Magazine. Fresco is the Chair of the Chicago Foundation for Women Investment Subcommittee and serves on a number of additional boards & committees. Fresco resides Chicago with her husband, George and their three children Sofia, Giana and Lorenzo. You can contact her at FrescoRealTalk@gmail.com or on Twitter @trinafresco.