Let the egg-hunting begin! The anticipation is my favorite part.
The kids scope out spots to wait which they believe will give them
the greatest advantage - and in a frenzied flash, the mad dash for
eggs is over.
But one year, the egg hunt gave me more to ponder than whether
or not my kids would be willing to share any of their sweet loot
We were at Cantigny Park in Wheaton, where hundreds of kids were
on hand to participate in Cantigny's first Easter Egg Hunt.
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," my son Noah, then
"I know, honey," I said, gritting my teeth. "No matter
what someone else does, you still need to do the right thing."
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
egg-hunt's upper age-limit of 10 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. 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
Perhaps, if we followed him ….
"They're not going to let them fill their extras anyhow,"
another mom remarked, reminding me that the plastic eggs were
empty, to be filled by Cantigny staff waiting inside the Visitors'
Center with the goodies.
Her comment reminded me that at least at in 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
How forward-thinking of the Cantigny staff.
If only this happened more often in real life. You get only what
you need, then you get your entitled behind out of the way and let
someone else get some.
It occurs to me that this Easter egg hunt was really a metaphor
for life. Why do we grab more than we need? And if we find that in
our excitement we have unwittingly done so, why don't we slow down
and summon the courage and humility to share a few of our extras
with those who weren't as fortunate, quick or clever as we?
It might have looked like a benign little egg-hunt. But you know
what? I think it was an opportunity in disguise.
Don't worry. We'll all get another chance this year.
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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