Miles may still be a little too young for an Easter Egg hunt but I wanted to do it anyway; so we gave it a shot this past weekend. He found ZERO eggs; but it was a great experience regardless.
Since we are still staying with my mom in Vincennes, I scoped out the local egg hunt options and found one this past Saturday at an area nursing home. I called my friend Michelle (one of the many benefits I’m discovering about moving close to home is the ability to reconnect in person with old friends like this “BFF” since first grade) to see if she and her adorable daughter Riley would like to come along.
We squeezed both car seats into my car (Miles is still rear facing and in the middle of the back seat so it was a bit of a challenge) and off we went. There were hoards of people milling about waiting for the hunt to start. We got into line to get our picture with the Easter bunny first. Riley, a brave 3-year-old, sidled right up to the furry bunny as Miles recoiled, gripping onto the neck of my cotton shirt beginning to cry.
We gracefully bowed out of the picture opportunity as rosy-cheeked Riley graced us all with her toothy grin. The four of us made our way out onto the nursing home’s grassy lawn waiting for the main event. Although there was still 20 minutes to go, parents and their kids were tightly packed together just behind the police tape cordoning off the 2 to 4-year-olds’ hunt area.
Michelle and I chose to sit in a sunny spot in the lawn to wait and peeled a couple cuties for our cuties in the meantime. Miles and Riley ran around (with Thomas and Percy in tow) as Michelle and I talked about politics and other intellectually stimulating topics (OK, so we gossiped and talked about our kids). When announcements began we got in line with the others.
The countdown commenced and I scooped up Miles as I felt a physical pressure from the crowd forming behind us.
“Go,” the woman shouted as she tore away the tape.
People pushed their way past us as I allowed the little ones in front of us to slowly toddle their way to the eggs. By the time we even got to the starting line nearly every egg was gone, parents scooping them up greedily and putting them in their children’s baskets. Riley was able to get one egg; Miles got a big goose egg, and by goose egg I mean zero, not some sparkly and special giant egg.
Both Miles and Riley didn’t mind the outcome, but there were other children crying as they walked away with only one or no eggs. I felt bad for them. I know, I know,” you can’t always get everything.” But come on, these kids were two and three!
There were other children (or their parents) leaving with baskets or plastic grocery sacks overflowing with eggs. One young boy, with the prompting of his dad, walked over offering Miles an egg. It was a very sweet gesture, and I told him as much, but I told him to keep his egg as Miles couldn’t eat the candy inside it anyway.
In less than three minutes the small yard where the Easter egg hunt was held was abandoned. Riley let me borrow her egg so Miles could “find” it and I could snap a few pictures.
Most of the parents quickly left. After we took our pictures, the four of us walked through the nursing home saying hello to residents and staff and stopped to visit Michelle’s grandfather who lived there. That, by far, was the best part of the egg hunt – the opportunity to see the joy in the residents’ faces when Riley and Miles waved and smiled.
After we left the nursing home Michelle and I stopped at a local store purchasing a bag of plastic eggs (so very ungreen of me). As I played with the kids, Michelle went outside and hid the eggs at my mom’s house so we could have a hunt of our own. Miles and Riley had a great time running around and finding the eggs – Riley of course getting all the pink and purple and Miles getting the rest.
The experience reminded me how grateful I am for wonderful friends like Michelle and for the little moments in life such as finding an empty plastic egg!
Have you sworn off public Easter egg hunts? What’s your favorite Easter activity to do with your kids?