Thursday, April 01, 2010

Egg Hunt -- by Gina

This past weekend I took my 6 year old niece and 3 year old daughter to an Easter event at our local children’s museum. The week prior my sister and I had been preparing by gathering up the requisite egg cartons (paper, not plastic or Styrofoam) for the Easter Egg basket craft the girls were going to be making first, to house their found eggs. My sister couldn’t make it – she had to take my nephew to a karate tournament so I would be spending a festive morning with just the girls.

We had to be there early – I had scheduled us for the earliest appointment. After leaving the house only a few minutes late to pick up my niece, I called my husband from the driveway. “Can you do me a big favor? There’s an egg carton in the fridge… can you empty the eggs out and bring me just the carton?” He hung up without a word and appeared in the driveway (in his boxer shorts) a few minutes later with the empty egg carton, a confused look on his face, handed it over and walked away without saying anything. He has learned not to bother asking what’s going on… it is usually too long an explanation for him.

Despite the cold and rainy weather, the girls were excited to get started. They enjoyed making their Easter basket craft – though it was a little chaotic, with lots of aspiring crafters pushing their way in for a spot at the busy craft tables to decorate egg carton baskets. There being no chairs, I hunched over the craft table or squatted down to the girls’ level, twisting into awkward positions to help them do their crafts. While I spent an extended amount of time helping Gianna get her basket together, my niece, Alissa, who had been suspiciously quiet, exclaimed, “Wow! This is so cool, Aunt Gina! Mommy NEVER lets me staple!”

So between alternate demands of “Help me, Mommy!” and “Help ME now, Aunt Gina!”, I managed to create two lovely Easter baskets with only paper and staples. But boy was my neck and back killing me from hunching over. As we traipsed from one building to the next, up and down stairs and over the wet field now, baskets in hand, my neck stiff, it occurred to me as it often does when I am doing these kids’ activities that… I am just too old for this!

Next they collected their eggs, arguing over who spotted which egg first, but enjoying it just the same. I made them pose for lots of pictures, then we went off to the next building for the snack. The Easter Bunny himself was seated in the snack area for photo ops, How nice, I thought. “Look girls, the Easter Bunny!” , to which my niece, who has always hated costumed characters, shouted, “That Easter Bunny is freakin’ me out!” My daughter, who predictably repeats everything her older cousin says and does, shouted (LOUDLY), “Yeah, Easter Bunny, you’re FREAKIN’ US OUT!” I hung my head in shame as everyone turned to look at us, but giggled to myself as we headed to the cookie table for their snack.

We entertained ourselves by watching the door the Easter Bunny had disappeared behind, waiting for him (from a safe distance) to come back out after his “carrot break.” The girls became brave when I told them he would give them treats if they went over to him. In fact, they were the first ones over when he came back out and they marched proudly back to me with bags of jellybeans in hand, smiling proudly and excited at their spurt of bravery. I snapped a quick photo of them and thought, “I’m not too old for this, after all.” Kids make everything more fun – a typical Saturday morning for us is an adventure for them.

It was a good day.

Happy Easter and Passover to everyone! And remember, don’t let the Easter Bunny freak you out!

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