We would pull down the driveway sometime before noon. Grandmom would greet us with a warm, soft hug. Grandpop, a peck on the cheek and a squeeze of the shoulder. The kitchen would be filled with a nice glow from the morning sun. On the table would sit an almost empty box of Dunkin Donuts, brought by my aunt earlier in the morning. Sitting beside it would be a coconut cake in the shape of a lamb for later, made by another one of my aunts, my Great Aunt Madeline. The air would be filled with the smell of ham in the oven and coffee brewing in the special pot my great aunt would set up on her card table.
This is the scene that greeted me at each and every Easter.
After our greetings and before dinner came the Easter Egg Hunt. While the older kids and adults hid the baggies of candy outside around my grandparents' property, the younger cousins and I were required to wait in the house. We would always find a way to peek out the windows.
When dinner was ready, we would eat outside at the picnic table, near my grandparents' brick barbecue. Once we were finished eating, the kids changed into their play clothes and the family played a game of whiffle ball or volleyball.
This is the stuff that childhood memories are made of. These memories of mine are what I think of when I watch my kids celebrate our Easters with my parents. We follow many of the same traditions, but quite a few are different from the ones I remember from my childhood. What I know for sure, the time my kids spend with their grandparents will be among their most treasured childhood memories, and they're making them right now. One Easter, one Christmas, one regular ole family dinner at a time.
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