It was Easter, 1974 when my father decided it was time to introduce an annual, springtime tradition in the form of a prestigious local family based award. “The Favorite Egg” an elaborately colored and dressed hard boiled egg was introduced into our lives on that Easter Sunday….. The object of the “game” as explained to me and my six siblings, was to be really, really, really good, for the entire year, and by creating enough of this kiddie-goodness, the Easter Bunny, in collaboration with Dad would recognized the “Best of the Best Kid” in the family for the past year. On that child The Favorite Egg would be bestowed!

Pageantry and benefits followed the year one recipient. My sweet older sister decreeing , almost daily, whims into laws that couldn’t be undone… My sister Laurie and I had to rub Carol-lee’s feet with coco butter twice a week for her term, Eddie made us wash his motorcycle and then his car. I made James eat a whole stick of butter in a single sitting.

As anxiety producing as this ritual was, I realized early on that there was a pattern to the Egg distribution..I cracked the Code!!! it went Oldest to Youngest! and if we were going in order of age, by the time I got the”Favorite Egg”, everyone would be out of the house…  So,  by 1976 I took it upon myself to create my own “Favorite Egg”, and by a combination of courage, strength and stealth egg dying, I could create my own “Favorite Egg” and award it to myself.  My approach to the “Favorite Egg” became the defacto “game” between me and my dad for the rest of my his years.

By the the end, “The Favorite Egg” had taken on a life of it’s own. It was no longer about a singular best- it has evolved to mean where all the best… I would hard boil and design eggs for all my parents, siblings, spouses, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, friends, cousins, even one for the homeless guy who lived at the mall- a one point I creating more that 38 eggs for all the Best people in my life…and it wasn’t even springtime.

The point being that a simple expression of love and gratitude can come from nowhere and at anytime. It’s a nice surprise to hear that someone is thinking about you, wants to connect with you maybe even loves you.

Dad died in 2004, only days before Easter, but I managed to slip in a business card for my new venture into his front right breast pocket and an hard boiled egg into his bottom right side pocket, before they closed his casket and took him off to be cremated that day.

Cut to Easter 2012…The newest member of our huge family,  Thomas Merton Collins waddled over to me with a huge mischievous smile on his face and his hands behind his back- “Close your eyes” he demanded. I gave him a hairy eyeball and he added “Please”…Good Boy

I closed my eyes and  giggles and thunder of eggs roll over me!