Springtime is a time for many things. It’s a time for renewal and reflection. It’s also time for Easter, and at the Van Vuren household (my parents’ house in northwestern Indiana), it’s time for a lesson.
When I still lived with my parents in what seems like the distant past, one of my responsibilities come springtime was to stuff the Easter eggs with treats so that my niece and nephew, who were both under the age of 10 when this regrettable tradition started, would be able to go and find them.
Like many things related to a holiday, it repeatedly was overdone. Bags and bags of candy were purchased for the overflowing baskets storing reusable, neon-colored plastic eggs from previous years. And I, being the sugar-addicted fiend that I am, would overstuff some of the eggs to the point that they would barely close.
That led to an interesting result: I didn’t have enough candy at the end, but was told to use all the eggs. So I came up with an easy fix that didn’t involve cracking open and restuffing plastic eggs by the dozen: disappointment.
In my equivocating mind at the time, this was a perfect fix and a teachable moment. This way when they found eggs containing nothing, they would know it was because someone else received more at their expense. OK, I didn’t say it was a good lesson or even an applicable one for grade-school children.
I remember the moment when my nephew opened an egg and went, “Huh? It’s empty?” I replied, “Oh, you got the disappointment egg. Remember not everything can go the way you want it to.”
My niece and nephew didn’t quite get the joke. However, they had received more than enough sweets before popping open an empty capsule that they didn’t seem to mind.
But they did learn something: to not let their uncle be in charge of anything related to holidays.