Originally posted March 19, 2008
You've seen it happen. The guy in charge explains
that each child is allowed to keep up to seven plastic eggs, and
then you watch -- as one after another they dart past you with
dozens, scurrying to grab more, while you remind your own
kids that they may keep only seven.
"But Mommy, those kids have a ton," Noah protested last
"I know, honey," I said, gritting my teeth. "No
matter what someone else does, you still need to do the right
"What's wrong with these parents?" my husband mumbled,
shaking his head.
At one point, weary of watching my kids hunt through the
hedges, their chances of meeting the seven-egg-limit dwindling, I
actually heard myself saying to an older kid (who looked to be
pushing the upper age-limit of ten years) "Hey man, only seven per
"I know," he replied weakly, as he avoided my eyes and
dragged his haul past me through the grass at
in Wheaton, where hundreds of kids
were on hand to participate in Cantigny's
first Easter Egg Hunt.
I scrunched up my eyes and silently wished him well,
hoping that somehow, someway, he'd remember to share.
Or that his bag would tear and the extras would slip
out. Maybe, if we followed him … But I digress.
"They're not going to let them fill their extras anyhow,"
a passing woman remarked, which reminded me that the plastic eggs
were empty, to be filled by Cantigny staff waiting with the goodies
inside the Visitors Center.
Her comment reminded me that at least at this egg-hunt,
the fast-grab for the loot wouldn't matter in the end, because
the fast-grabbers wouldn't be allowed to go home with more than
their share. How forward-thinking of the
Cantigny staff. Kudos to
If only this happened more often in real life:
You get only what you need, then you need to get your
entitled butt out of the way and let someone else get
It occurs to me that this Easter Egg Hunt is really a
metaphor for life. Why do you grab more than you need?
And if you find that in your excitement you have unwittingly done
so, why not slow down and summon the courage and humility to share
a few of your extras with those who weren't as fortunate, quick or
clever as you?
It might have looked like a benign little egg-hunt.
But you know what? It was an opportunity in disguise,
and some of you parents out there really blew it. Don't
worry. You'll get another chance this
Jennifer DuBose, M.S., C.A.S., is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice in Batavia.
See more of Jennifer's stories here.
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