Deep South Texas has a wonderful tradition of making cascarones for the Easter festivities. The teacher loved the time of year. In fact, she had been sending those very special eggs up north to her family in Minnesota for several years. While commonplace in Hispanic areas, cascarones were a big novelty elsewhere in the country, though that is slowly changing now.
For several weeks, parents had been saving and sending empty egg shells that could be filled with confetti by the students. The children used white crayons and drew a variety of designs on the eggs. They would later color them with Kool-aide rich water or magic markers. Even with all the eggs from the parents, the teacher still bought lots more cascarones for the children to crack. She liked cracking the eggs too!
The children also learned to color traditional hard boiled eggs. Unfortunately, most of the children didn’t like to eat them. The smell bothered them. Yet, somehow, it didn’t seem to matter. Each egg colored was treasured by the children.
Though the hard boiled eggs couldn’t be broken, the cascarones were a whole other matter. The question remained: Would they be willing to break their own creations?
Typically, the students had a special classroom fiesta just before Easter break full of fun spring activities.
The parents would be invited to have a pizza party with the highlight being the cracking of all the cascarones. The teacher always liked to do the activity outside just because of the mess.
Every year seemed to have just the right weather, except this year.
She knew it would happen sooner or later. A huge storm rolled in right when all the parents arrived. An alternative had to be found and quickly. Fortunately, the speech lab across the hall was available. The rug was rolled up and the desk pushed up against the wall. The rest was just perfect to hide eggs along the shelves and around some of the tables.
The floor had hundreds of eggs, yep hundreds!
Well, the moment finally arrived. The children lined up with their bags and their parents. Each child was given one egg to practice cracking. The teacher had learned long ago to teach them how to break the eggs. This was because one too many eggs being cracked wrong brought tears and frustration.
Then the cracking began. It was fun! The smiles on the parents were as big as those on their own children. Everyone, including the teacher, paraprofessionals, students and parents got into the act. All enjoyed it equally.
The surroundings looked so pretty afterwards with the confetti scattered everywhere.
As the excitement calmed down, the children walked hand in hand with their parents to have lunch. The teacher liked these special moments of parents interacting with their children at school. The spring event helped prepare the children for similar activities that occurred in their own homes.
Barbecues and Easter egg hunts typically occur throughout the area during spring time here in South Texas. Once the cascarones cracking was done, pizza and drinks were served. At the end of the day, each child was surprised with a basket full of you guessed it, cascarones and a few other fun things like candy and sidewalk chalk, too.
Pamela Gross Downing, a special education teacher can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.