The origins of the Easter egg date back to pagan Europe; when pre-Christians associated eggs with the rebirth and renewal of Spring. Once Christianity established itself, and Easter replaced earlier celebrations of the season, the egg came to symbolize yet another resurrection all together.
But as beautiful a tradition as the colorful eggs have represented, actually “hunting” them was one that I'd long resisted. You see, before I was a parent, the prospect of hordes of children greedily descending on a candy-scattered lawn inspired more dread than enthusiasm. And after I became a parent, I felt pretty much the same way.
Until last Saturday when, for the first time, I brought my kids to the annual Easter Egg Hunt in .
We arrived at 10 a.m. sharp. The hunt began, and my two children—along with hundreds of others—surged across the grass. Within minutes, a multitude of colorful plastic eggs lay scattered under the trees, the candy hungrily collected, the shells left open on the grass. By 10:30, Ashton was showing no interest in the karate demonstration and Trinity was mathematically sorting her loot into piles. The event had been relatively painless, we saw a few people we knew, and it seemed like it was time to go.
But then, on our way out of the park, the kids spied a little boy blowing bubbles near the tennis courts while his companion hunted for insects with a bug vacuum. Immediately, Ashton headed for the bubbles and Trinity grabbed a butterfly net to join her new friend. As for me, I sat against a eucalyptus tree and soaked in the rays. I don’t know how long we were there—enjoying the perfect weather, the fragrance of blooming trees and the buzzing of bees—but my reverie was eventually interrupted by the arrival of the ice cream man. Though I was firm that they had already had their fill of sugar, he could not resist Ashton’s pleas and handed both kids what they wanted, free of charge.
Not long afterwards, it really was time to go. The park was clearing out, my children were weary with sun and sugar consumption and I was glad we had come. The silly joy, the unexpected generosity and the sheer peacefulness of the day had shown me how much there is to celebrate—whatever your background or religion—when the days get longer, the sun gets warmer and the life all around us is renewed.
Even if it means that, maybe, the kids will eat a little too much candy.