"I have seen personally what is the only beneficial and appropriate course of action for people: to eat and drink, and find enjoyment in all their hard work on earth during the few days of their life which God has given them, for this is their reward." (Ecclesiastes 5:18, NET)

April 6, 2013

The hunt

What holiday is better than Easter? None. We go from somber Friday, remembering the horrific death of Christ on the cross as our substitute, to joyous Sunday, celebrating the most important day in history. Since April 5, AD 33, no other day has topped it.

Of course, Christ's resurrection is celebration worthy every day that He gives us breath. As the Scripture says, if He didn't rise, our faith would be in vain. And as Jesus said, whoever believes in Him will never die. I mean, come on ... you tell me anything that's better than that!

The ancient pagan origins of Easter traditions don't mean anything to me. I absolutely adore Easter baskets and egg hunts. The last egg hunt I had for Angy and Zach was in our apartment, right before my kids and I grew up and branched out on our own. They were in their late teens, so Cracker Jack prizes in the eggs wouldn't do. It was all money, in bills ranging from $1 to $20. But I made them work for it. Finding obscure places to hide the eggs, like in hard-to-reach light fixtures, was a good time for me.

Now with five grandkids and a big backyard, egg hunts are the best! Several weeks before Easter, I spent an entire Saturday searching for cool little toys and sundry other items, then filling 138 plastic eggs. Zach emailed me a few days before Easter, saying that Evyn and Ezra were "counting down the days to Nana's egg hunt." They weren't the only ones.

After a delightful after-church meal of baked ham sandwiches on Panera's three-cheese bread, chips with bacon ranch dip and fresh guacamole, fruit salad, and Pig Cake, the big moment finally arrived. We divvied up the eggs among four adults for hiding, or it would have taken me longer to do than the kids could tolerate waiting. Some eggs were fairly well hidden and some were strewn around the yard to give everyone a fighting chance.

The kids were jammed up at the starting gate, which was the patio door. When some brave soul opened the door, it unleashed a chaotic, gleeful ruckus. While the kids scattered, the adults were either watching, taking pictures, or helping. Mom was helping Jackson (we were so glad our big darlin' wanted to participate this year). And I was trying to help Christian and Sara.

Evyn and Ezra needed no help whatsoever. They're egg hunting ninjas. With impressive speed and stealth, those two were laser focused on their mission. I wonder. Did Zach run them through practice drills at home all week? Put them through an egg hunt bootcamp? Or did they just inherit his athletic prowess and competitive nature?

It was interesting to watch the different styles of egg hunting on display. Christian and Sara were laid back, just sort of strolling about. When I saw Christian take time to open an egg to see what was inside, I screamed at him, "Just throw it in and keep moving!" Then he found a pink egg, showed it to me, and said, "I'm going to give this to Sara." How sweet. But what was Nana's response? "Don't worry about that now! Move it, boy!"

It was all over in a matter of minutes, and everyone ended up getting plenty. The kids sat at the big table on the patio, opening their treasures and bartering when a girl got a micro mini car or a boy got a hairclip with a rhinestone flower.

I'm thinking now that I'll be on the lookout for egg fillers all year instead of waiting until a month before Easter. Maybe I should get even more eggs next year, so the hunt will last at least another 30 seconds. And what about when they're teenagers? For five of them, that's going to take a lot of cash. I so love problems like these.

At the starting gate, with ninjas on the left, strollers on the right