As the parent of an only child who is only 5, Easter egg hunts have always been a somewhat relaxing time. Find a community egg hunt, dress up your child like it’s the Kentucky Derby, give ’em a fancy basket, and let them chase after eggs in a pleasantly demarcated zone in a flat field. Kid gets candy, parents get nostalgic photos, and everyone goes home happy.
When you have 17 kids, it’s just a bit different. We trekked down to Huntsville this Easter and were exposed to something a bit less quaint and a bit more intense.
It all starts after the big dinner. The hunting kids are sequestered to the basement while the older, hiding kids gleefully run about the 3-4 acres of rambling yard, trees, and gardens. In what would pass as a hazing ritual in other contexts, the hiders take much joy in finding diabolical places to hide the eggs. Even worse, as the ratio of hiders to hunters becomes more dominated by the hiders, there is actually competition to see who can find the best “fair” hiding places. Adults, shunted to the cheering section, merely stand around, some used to the parade of chaos, some not.
There were curious looks from the furry crowd trying to figure what was going on.
Then, the hunters were herded onto the front porch, all waiting for their turn. Youngest first, then the older ones.
The hunt is on! Of course everyone wants to find the most eggs, and there are many interventions made by the hiders to ensure proper distribution of the eggs. The Golden Egg is found, only to be met with disappointment once the finder opens it and finds the contents identical to the not-so-special eggs. Bruised egos, bruised shins, and a few other injuries didn’t blemish the smiles in the end.
The alumni of Easter Egg Hunts manage to find other entertaining activities, some more active than others.
After the carnage is complete and all the hunters are filled with sugar and caffeine from their chocolate, we all took time to celebrate another graduate’s birthday while still finding time to lounge around and enjoy the beautiful day.
In the end we all enjoy a wonderful day of family, celebration of the Risen, and an opportunity to get a picture of the whole family in their Easter duds. Happy Easter!