married to amazement.

When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was a bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
Mary Oliver, from “When Death Comes”

It was clear when we started setting up that Paas egg dye kit is Mike’s childhood in a box. Where is the wire dipper? Can I punch out the circles? I smiled at him but it stirred up something in me, too. The smell of the eggs and the vinegar, the cups with their bright colors, and, of course, the wire dipper.

Atticus enjoyed the activity for a few minutes, and then he was done. I finished up on my own while he ran around with his basketball. We could frame it like this: dyeing eggs is basically a pointless activity, a lot of work for some colored eggs that we aren’t going to eat and that don’t have candy inside of them. Or we could accept that dyeing eggs is part of the way we celebrate Eastertide and that he will enjoy the tradition when we feel more comfortable hiding potential stinkbombs around our house.

I want to explain and give reasons for everything we do, but Atticus didn’t ask me why we were doing this. He embraced the activity and was content to be amazed. I was amazed, too, that he managed to gently place an egg in a cup (there were some not-so-gentle hands and some cracks) and by the way he carefully positioned his fingers to “help” me get the bright eggs out of the dye.

As a Pinterest-worthy activity, it was a flop. But as an exercise in wonder, we did all right.

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