I think like everyone I’ve been experiencing trepidation and sadness about what this holiday weeekend will bring. Inevitably it will be different than normal, different than what was planned just a month ago.
Eleven years ago I started doing Easter Egg hunts for my nieces and nephews. There were only 4 of them at the time (plus an infant). The big kids were very little, just toddling around. I didn’t really think at the time about how long I’d be doing a hunt. I didn’t think about it at all until a year or so ago when I started doing the math of how long until my youngest niece was the age of my oldest who is still participating (fyi – add 12 years). I then thought about how old that would make the big kids, realized there could be another generation by then and went back to filling eggs, a little shocked and scared about how many years I could be filling eggs. Part of me hates to admit now that I wondered if I could really do a hunt every year for that long.
I bought candy for this year’s hunt in February when it started hitting the shelves. A couple hours to kill in Bangor before a flight was perfect for a Target run. Then Covid hit. I knew very early in my self-isolation there would be no hunt at Easter this year. I debated what to do with the bags of candy. Should I save it and try a hunt in the summer? In the end, I decided to bag it up and give it to the kids.
My nephews were on their buggies the other night when I was walking. We stopped on either side of the trail to talk and I told them I’d drop them off bags. The conversation confirmed what I’d known all along: they like the fun of the hunt more than the candy reward. (Though my youngest nephew lit up at the thought of Starburst.) My nieces told me when I left their candy it didn’t feel like Easter without the Egg Hunt. Like everyone, we struggled with how to have a holiday without our extended family or usual traditions.
Easter came and went and we stayed away from each other this year so next year we can be together. (Today is not a day to ponder second and third waves). And if I’m still organizing Easter Egg hunts for countless more years to come that would be awesome, because we’ll always have the year we couldn’t do an egg hunt to remind us of why we enjoy them so much.