POST 29. Easter Basket



When I think of third grade, two things come to mind. First, a very specific “perfume” pervaded the classroom after every recess. Let’s call it “Eau d’B.O.”


The second memory is of Easter baskets … Easter baskets made me sad, sad enough to cry as soon as I came home from school.


You see, I am part Jewish. My mother was Jewish, but my father was not. Easter often coincided with Passover, and while we didn’t celebrate Passover in our house, we also did not celebrate Easter.


So what did all that mean to this little third grader? 




No Easter basket overflowing with sweet jellybeans, silky milk chocolate bunnies, and large, luscious coconut Easter eggs covered with dark chocolate and hard candy flowers! 


My third-grade class arranged to bring the contents of their Easter baskets to school. Believe it or not, such things were permitted in 1953, not even questioned! 


So, after Easter, everyone carefully placed their precious cargo in their cubbyholes above their jackets at the back of the classroom.


Not me.


At recess, all the candy was brought out to the playground. Then the trading began.


Not me. I watched from the top of the monkey bars, feeling quite sorry for myself.


I struggled to remain stoic the rest of school. Until I got off the school bus. The tears spilled over and were still spilling when I ran home and upstairs to my bedroom. My mom heard me and ran upstairs after me. She asked, and I told her the story, through my sobs, stuttering gulps and running nose. She did her best to quell my pain.


Then on Saturday she and my dad did something amazing and miraculous. An awesome egg hunt! Real eggs she and dad decorated while I was overnight at grandmom’s house on Friday.


When I walked home on Saturday, my mom said, laughing, “Leave it to you to be late for your first egg hunt!” 


Utterly delighted, I raced around the yard. Jelly beans inside the daffodils and the crocuses. Small foil-covered chocolate eggs in the grass. There on the garden bench was a pink basket with a coconut egg and a big golden chocolate bunny!


Ecstasy in the kindness… and the candy.


As I write this, I am reminded that the third-grader’s tears were never about candy at all. Rather, they were about feeling left out. Though I do love jellybeans and chocolate to this day!


I wish I could tell my mom about feeling left out!


Perhaps I just did!



Watercolor by Elaine

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