Leave it to me to be off mark about a neighborhood Easter Egg Hunt. Saturday morning I was driving over to Nancy's house humming Hungry Like the Wolf in my head as I explained to Miss M about the activity that was in her near future. I pictured ruthless little kids kicking my sweet little spring bud over to get a plastic egg full of cheap candy. Thankfully, it was neither as intense or as amazonly sexual as I imagined. In fact, it was a gorgeous day surrounded by a bunch of people longing for the same thing as me: an experience for my child to remember.
We arrived shortly before they cut the pink ribbon for the "Under 3" section. Once they did, a flurry of parents and children careened towards the grass section where seemingly the Easter Bunny had flagrantly spewed eggs all over the ground. There was lots of hand holding and slowly picking up eggs. Some of the three year olds had full baskets while M was working on her three that I gingerly knocked some kid over to get. I was pretty put off to find each egg we picked up was empty. Of course I was thinking some bastard took the candy and threw back the egg until I realized all the eggs were empty (and we were dealing with three year olds at best). Once the hunt was over, each kid returned their eggs to the table and got a "treat" from the Easter Bunny. The hunt was starting to seem much "greener" and user-friendly than I anticipated. M loved her new notebook and pencil and only ended up with one miniature box of nerds (impressive since I would have cursed the sugar riddled experience otherwise). I really couldn't moan anymore.
Except that here is where my 70s roots kick in: I long for the good old fashioned egg hunt we had in our yard every year with the eggs we decorated ourselves. Sure it meant a basket full of mostly hard boiled eggs and of course as a kid, I longed to go on one of the coordinated hunts in a large lush park. After a few years, I found the predictability of a guaranteed egg in the little metal gutter coming out of our front garden planter or the one on the back of our mailbox too easy to locate. Thinking back now though, I love the idea of my parents coordinating the experience and inviting the neighbor kids to join in the fun. The older kids got to have the distinct honor of hiding the eggs, the younger ones got to hunt. It seems so much more intimate and fun that way.
I'm not a fan of crowds - the older I get, the more true that statement holds. Sure this was a great experience, but I think our future spring celebrations will include a close group of kids, like the ones we arrived with. Call me old fashioned that way but I will bring back the simplicity and utilitarianess of the 70s with pride.