Happy Spring y’all! This is always the time of year that I rush to the grocery store to stock up on those candy coated malted eggs. Kate wrote in last week because she remembered something about a tradition (not the tradition of me raiding the store for malted eggs) in our family to celebrate the first day of Spring. She was right. While we’re a little late in getting this up—the first day of Spring being today—it’s not too late to celebrate. We often held our Spring Celebration anytime during the first week of Spring.
24 Mar 2006 at 3:33 pm | by Janelle Bradshaw
The first day of spring was this past Monday—although it doesn’t feel like it here in Maryland. The yearly arrival of spring was greeted with much excitement in the Mahaney house during our growing up years. This was because of a unique Mahaney family tradition known as “Spring Celebration.”
Every March, on the Saturday following the first day of spring, my mom prepared a special breakfast. There were individual boxes of cereal, not just any cereal mind you, but “sweet cereal.” (For girls raised on Grape Nuts and Raisin Bran, Fruit Loops and Cocoa Krispies were a big deal!) There were also cinnamon roll bunny rabbits. Check out the picture below.
(A small disclaimer here—this sample bunny was made by Nicole and does not look exactly like the original. For example, Mom’s icing was light pink, not fuschia, her bunny face didn’t have icing, and she didn’t burn her cinnamon rolls.)
Mom created these delicacies by using those pre-made cinnamon rolls that come in the little tube. After cooking the rolls, she would decorate them. A few drops of food coloring made the icing pink. Two halves of one roll made the ears. Raisin eyes, a cherry nose, and little almond whiskers completed the project.
In addition to the special breakfast, each place at the table had a basket filled with candy.
We weren’t allowed in the kitchen until everything was ready, so we waited at the top of the stairs, yelling down every thirty seconds or so to find out if it was “time yet.” When Mom FINALLY gave the word, the party began!
First things first—we ate and ate some more. After the food was taken care of, it was on to the activities. There was an egg hunt with those little plastic eggs that you can fill with candy or some other treasure. We would dye hard-boiled eggs, and play games together.
My mom always worked hard to make it a day to remember, and her efforts were not in vain. As you can imagine, for three little girls, this day was one of the highlights of our year. Actually, writing about Spring Celebration makes me a little nostalgic. I just might throw myself my own little party to welcome spring this year!
So I’ve been trying to write this little update for over a week, but I am very much in a “new mother fog” right now. Exhausted. Can’t remember what day of the week it is. Trail off in the middle of my sentences. The past two weeks have been magical, grueling, and a little blurry.
Thus far, things have gone even better than I expected. The children are adjusting remarkably well. It brings such joy to my heart to look around our breakfast table at my four children, to watch Jack and Jude play soccer in the driveway or Tori and Sophie splash together in the bathtub. I love it when they run to the door as a pack to greet Daddy when he comes home from work, or when they sing songs from our “Slugs and Bugs” cd in their beautiful Ethiopian accents. My favorite time of day is after morning school is cleaned up and all four children run around the house laughing through their daily game of “Tori’s It!”
We’ve had our challenges to be sure. They are learning to respond to our loving authority. I quickly discovered that “embi” repeated over and over means they do not like what I have decided—and I have to stop myself from nonsensically replying “no embi” (literally “no no”). When we served them vegetables the first night they were home you would have thought we had shoveled dirt onto their plate! And all four children are learning to be kind to one another. But considering that they have left their country, family, friends, every familiar sight and sound and smell and taste, and come to live with our family—including two siblings very close in age—they are doing amazingly well, and I am so grateful for God’s grace.
I am sure we will have more challenges in the days ahead. The adjustment period is only just beginning. But for right now, my prayer is very simple: strength and wisdom. I desperately feel my need for both. Strength to get out of bed in the morning and finish the dinner dishes before 9pm. Strength to insist on obedience for my children’s good. Strength to still be smiling by the end of the day when my husband comes home from work. And wisdom. Wisdom to know how to handle a myriad of moments with two precious children who don’t speak the same language. Wisdom to know when to comfort and when to correct. Wisdom to know which child takes first priority when all four our vying for my attention at once.
The Proverbs 31 woman is “clothed with strength” and “speaks with wisdom.” I’m a long way from either but I know that God is eager to answer this simple, desperate, prayer on behalf of this helpless, happy, mother.