Is it just me or has our generation of parents totally missed the mark on the Easter egg hunt?
It’s unusual for me to write something that’s not heavily favoring parents and the daily joys of our job but the egg hunt adulting madness needs to stop.
Part of me gets it. I too am just as, if not more guilty, than the next mom trying to snap the perfect photo. Heck, I’ve created an entire side business of documenting parenting. But as I sat across the field and watched an adult stampede at a under 2’s egg hunt, I can’t feel like we’re totally getting this one wrong.
Let’s start with the obvious, our overly eager parental participation in the egg hunt is somewhat destroying the fun for our kids. What 3 year is going to enjoy navigating through a sea of adults completely oblivious to everyone outside of their own circle? How, when the kids can barely see the eggs, do we expect them to want to reach out and grab one while totally fearing their little hands getting stepped on or their bodies tripped over.
I know that some of us don’t want to miss the opportunity to amass a small collection of mediocre plastic eggs filled with the candy we publicly pretend not to give our kids. But honestly we all will be cursing these eggs later when we find their broken and unmatched halves hidden throughout the house.
The rest of us, the non competitive parental partner, is probably following our kids through the human maze of the egg hunt to get the perfect photo. Find the kid with the least eggs and you’ll probably find the parent with the best picture.
Can we just stage photos after the egg hunt instead of ruining it for the photos? I mean come on, it’s not like it would be the first time we’ve staged a photo of our kids.
But seriously, this is the part that I want my fellow parents to get on board with.
We’re making egg hunts pretty lame for us too. I look back at my mom’s old photos and see nothing but a bunch of happy baby boomer children hunting for eggs figuring it out for themselves while their well dressed parents half watch, half pay attention. Drink in hand, the depression era adults are probably wondering how much longer until the kids get their dinner and go to bed so the adults can then have their private grown up dinner. We need more of that with this generation of parenting.
Let’s aim for more fond memories of undocumented times over perfectly photographed average ones.
Let’s aim for more lessons and less wins.
What I have left out is the most important part of what happened at our adult, I mean kids egg hunt. Summer, my 4 year old failed miserably.
Not realizing that there would be 3x as many adults as kids, I told my kids what I thought was important advice, ” They needed to make sure they didn’t take eggs from kids who were younger than them.”
By the time the hunt was over and the crowd parted I found Summer with tears rolling down her cheeks. She was the only person in her area following “the rule” and she couldn’t find more than 2 eggs.
As I walked away with a broken hearted preschooler who was getting a much bigger lesson than I wanted her to swallow that day, a little boy approached us. In his hands he had three eggs. With a shy glance he gentled placed the eggs in her basket and said a simple “here you go” before he ran back to him parents. Before we turned back to our picnic blanket I was able to make eye contact with his mom and share a silent thank you and nod of recognition.
She knew how much Summer appreciated the gesture, I knew how proud she must have been of her son.
Ultimately, with that singular glance we were affirming that despite the craziness that goes into modern parenting and despite how effortful our generation can make it for ourselves; moms will always be looking out for all little ones. Despite our differences, or maybe more because of our differences, we become united in the sisterhood of motherhood.