“It’s Easter. We should do something together,” I suggested, as the kids rummaged through their baskets last Sunday morning. I spotted the “Scribblish” game in the corner, coated with a thick layer of dust. I think it’s even still shrink-wrapped.
“Let’s watch ‘Modern Family,’” Noah suggested.
“Yes, let’s watch another family being a family,” I replied.
It was too early for church (though we never actually made it) and our brunch reservation was seven hours off (we managed, somehow, to keep that), but as I was already too hyped-up on the kids’ early wake-up call and jelly beans, going back to bed was pointless. Yes, quality family time was ours for the taking.
But then we remembered the eggs. Like we do every year, Todd and I had hidden several plastic eggs filled with candy, coins and even a few bills, so the kids took off to find them.
Last year, after the kids found the eggs and left the opened ones in a heap on the coffee table, they also left $6 behind. I made this thrilling discovery last Saturday night at 11 o’clock, when I finally got around to refilling them. I was delighted, as I’d forgotten to go to the ATM and was left to dig through my purse for cash, hopeless as it was. I laughed so hard that several jelly beans rolled off my bed. And then I stuffed the found money right back into the eggs. I guess the Easter Bunny isn’t above money laundering.
This year, I put a $10 bill in one. Noah predicted that his little sister would find it. He was right.
I didn’t want him to give up, though, as there were still plenty of eggs left, with a grand total of 18, to be precise. This I knew because I counted them, this year, to avoid the kids’ angst about whether to keep searching or not.
“It’s torture,” Noah said. “Do you remember when Grandma stuck a $20 bill in the bush?” Noah asked, recalling the Easter my Mom spent the holiday with us and got in on the action. He remembers that Grandma simply gave one to little Holly, but he had to search for his. He finally found it outside. (It’s amazing what kids remember!)
I do recall how much she enjoyed doling out the clues. I love that part, too. If I’m honest, the egg search is probably my favorite of our Easter traditions, though perhaps it’s more fun for me than the kids? (I’ll have to ask them, but perhaps Noah’s description, “torture,” is clear enough?)
I get a huge kick out of discovering clever, new hiding places every year, too. (Now that I think about it, this egg hunt probably does little to promote sibling harmony. It is kind of like “The Hunger Games,” to make children compete for resources. And on Easter, no less! Yes indeed, what kind of Easter Bunny puts a kid through that? But I digress.)
This year I hid one egg in Jake’s stored dog food, and another in his dish. After the kids discovered those, the Big Red Dog, all decked out in his pastel-plaid Easter bandanna, flopped down on the couch and sighed his heavy, old-man sigh. Perhaps he didn’t approve? Or was feeling left out? So, Holly and Todd filled a few plastic eggs with dog food and let him find them. She did the same thing for Posey, our cat.
A few minutes later our satisfied Easter dog sat on my feet and burped. We had at least one happy customer.
Finally, there was only one egg left to find. But the kids were losing interest. Torture, you know.
“It’s probably a quarter,” Holly said, wryly.
“Oh, you say that like it’s a bad thing,” I said, “but how many times have you begged me for a quarter? Huh?” She knew what I was talking about. Every time we leave the gym she begs for one for the gumball machine, but I never have one with me because I leave my purse in the car.
She resumed her search.
After the last egg was found, we gathered in the family room while the kids took stock. (There was a whole buck in that last stinkin’ egg, by the way.)
“Where’s the remote?” Noah asked.
“Why?” I asked.
“So we can watch ‘Modern Family,’” he said.
Ah, yes. We were all in the same room, at least. Works for me.
• Jennifer DuBose lives in Batavia with her husband, Todd, and their two children, Noah and Holly. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.