I was so excited for my daughter’s first Easter Egg Hunt. She was maybe 2, all dressed up in her Easter finest with an adorable little basket in the crook of her arm. They had divided them up into age groups, the fields of eggs all roped off, eggs dotting the green grass.
“On your mark!” The lady with the bullhorn announced, my daughter oblivious to what was about to happen was twirling in her pretty dress.
“You need to get ready to get your eggs!” My husband coaxed her, pointing at the eggs.
She took off just as the bullhorn lady shouted, “Go!” we cheered, she made it three or four steps, almost to her first egg, when a little boy that had to be at least a year and a half older than her swooped in grabbed the first egg out from under her. Tears filled her eyes, my husband and I had been completely unprepared for this.
She stood there crying as all the eggs around her got disappeared into baskets.
“I don’t know?” He was thinking the same thing I was–Was this one of those times when she was supposed to learn a lesson? She’s two, will the whole “law of meat, early bird gets the worm” even work on her or will she just be sad that she got all dressed up, got super excited about hunting for eggs, and then got them all taken away from her?
Well, helicopter mom kicked in for me, and I corralled a few eggs into a corner of the field that she could pick up on her own. She plopped down on the ground with her shiny treasure and all was good.
But that was when I knew… when I knew that I hated Easter Egg hunting with a deep passion. Easter egg hunting, any way you slice it is never going to turn out the way you want it to.
When she got older, and she was able to get the eggs out from under the other kids, it just made it harder– because she couldn’t bring herself to take them. She started running around the field and throwing eggs into baskets of the littles. Which, admittedly, I loved seeing, but I knew it wasn’t the Hunt she’d been planning.
And the thing is, that’s the way all the Easter Egg hunts end up. Tons of work and money spent stuffing dozens of eggs for about 45 seconds of fun. Is that really what Easter is all about?
We tried the whole “bring 12 eggs, take 12 eggs home” type hunts where everyone stopped after getting a certain amount of eggs. But, that never works, because now they have eggs that are bigger, cooler shaped, and shinier than all the other eggs, so if your kid brings 12 butterfly shaped eggs to the hunt and goes home with 12 plain eggs, disappointment is bound to happen.
We’ve done the whole “everyone only picks up their own color eggs” and that works okay, until someone’s colored egg is busted, or one of them was hidden a little too well. This is probably the most fair way to do an Easter Egg Hunt, but it is even more work for that sweet 19 seconds of hunting.
There’s just no way good way to slice it. Easter Egg hunts are terrible, and I wish they would go away. But they won’t. Tomorrow, we are going on a hunt where all the eggs fall out of a helicopter.
I don’t even know what to do with that.