Thursday, April 4, 2013
Life Lesson Month of April: Blog 1- Letters from Mom & Mimi
And what a perfectly fit nickname you have for this blog as it has to do with Easter not the jellybeans mind you, but the Easter eggs)! Yes… I do have a story to tell of the present (pertaining to you) as well as a story past (pertaining to your Mommy and Uncle Ryan.) I shall call it:
Life Lessons Learned #5. Simple traditions work just as well as complicated ones.
Well Bean… like every holiday, spending it with you is always so much fun! To see the excitement in your eyes seems to bring out the ‘child of long ago’ in each of us. But my story of you isn’t exactly about Easter Day… rather a few weeks back when you and I were playing ‘Hide the Eggs; Easter Bunny.’ Here is how we played it. As always, we start off by playing house. You are the baby and I am the mommy. After a (pretend) day filled with lots of activities, I lay you on your (pretend) bed, the couch, and say goodnight. Then I get six very colorful plastic Easter eggs… fill them with candy and pennies and small things from your play kitchen and put them in an Easter basket. Now Ellie… before I go and hide them, I always tell you to turn your head and close your eyes. Dutifully you do, but only for about 10 seconds… just enough time for me to go into the kitchen and put on a pair of bunny ears that I kept on the counter and then hop back into the living room to start my job. Now the funny part is that I could always see you watching me from my peripheral vision but I pretended not to. I would then hop around and whisper a bit loudly where I am placing the eggs, (all of which would be in partial view.) Once I finished I would hop out of the room, take off my bunny ears and come back into the living room as the mommy. I would yawn loudly and yell out, “Morning time!” That would be your queue to jump off the couch and go in search of the Easter eggs. And of course you’d make me giggle because you would follow my exact path that I had used when hiding them. Once all six were found you and I would sit on the floor and you’d open each plastic egg to see what was inside. Again, I found this hilarious because you always pretended to be surprised when you already knew what hidden treasures were in there! Now most children would think this “Hide the Egg” game would be done, but not you. Very quickly you would make a role reversal. I would become the child and you would be the mommy/Easter bunny. Once I was on the couch pretending to be asleep, you would hide the eggs in the exact same spots around the living room that I had just done ten minutes before. The only difference was that when you said “Morning time” and I jumped off the couch… instead of me going in search of the eggs by myself, you would take my hand and show me where they all were and yell out “I found another one!” as though you yourself didn’t even know where they were hidden! Ellie, in the past few weeks we have played this game not once, not twice but at least a dozen times and you never get tired of it. Not only have we played it many times… we rarely change the hiding spots and you seem to be perfectly happy with that. With you my darling granddaughter, it is not about making the “challenge” harder each time we play, but rather taking the time and playing something that you truly enjoy.
Now fast forward to last Saturday, the day before Easter. Your Mommy and Daddy took you to an Easter egg hunt that took place on the grounds of the Knights of Columbus building.
Poppy and I were thrilled to tag along and watch this amazing event that you were going to participate in.
There were three large circular areas, age appropriate, that were staked out for the egg hunt and you opted for the 3 to 5 year old patch. Once the gentleman in charge counted to three, all the children ran into the middle of the patch turning over clumps of hay and grabbing up the colorful eggs. Ellie instead of scrambling like the others, you took your time picking up the eggs and slowly dropped them into your Kyle bag.
It only took a matter of minutes for all the children present to scarf up the few hundred eggs that were hidden underneath the hay. You were quite pleased with yourself as you found five eggs (all of which were in eyesight by the way), and you know what? You couldn’t have been happier! For it wasn’t about finding the most eggs or the cleverly hidden ones, it was just about enjoying the moment.
Now rewind to many, many years ago when your Mommy and Uncle Ryan were much younger, actually children themselves. Yes the Easter Bunny visited their house year after year too. Only back then he seemed to make his task, (hiding the Easter eggs and the Easter baskets), harder than it should have been. Instead of just hopping into our home in the wee hours of the morning and randomly placing eggs and baskets here there and everywhere… he planned, strategized and mapped out our home placing them in nooks and crannies (some that we didn’t even know we had) as well as compartments that were near to impossible to find! Here are a few examples Ellie: one year the Easter bunny tied Ryan’s Easter basket using heavy shoe string to a sturdy hanger in his own closet. He then got your Uncle’s winter ski jacket and hung it on the hanger making sure the dangling Easter basket was snug securely inside of it. He zipped the coat up to its neck leaving no trace that the bunny had ever entered the closet! It took your Uncle Ryan all morning to find that one! Another time the Easter bunny hid your Mommy’s Easter basket in a 30” Pullman suitcase that was stored on the third shelf of the basements storage room! Who would ever think to look in there???? Certainly not your Mommy! As for the Easter eggs, well back then the bunny took time to hard-boil each and every egg (what was he thinking???!!!). Anyway… he would then carry them around the world hiding two-dozen or so in each home along the way. It’s amazing that no one got salmonella poisoning back then! When you think about it, those eggs sat hidden (some in well used sneakers) at room temperature for hours! Thankfully the Easter Bunny always left Poppy and I a detailed note as to where he hid those colorful eggs. We never really had to rely on the note because Poppy would get just as excited during the ‘hunt’ as your Mommy and Uncle Ryan did. If Poppy saw an egg that one of them overlooked he would coax them back with the game Hot/Cold. And if they still couldn’t find it, he would just come right out and tell them exactly where it was located! I would get frustrated and tell Poppy to give them more time, but I guess in the grand scheme of things it was a smart tactic. Otherwise we might have ended up with one very stinky house days later from lost or forgotten eggs!
I guess what I have learned this past week Ellie is that someone needs to tell the Easter Bunny that he doesn’t have to always try so hard to make his ‘bunny activity’ so challenging. After playing “Hide the Easter Eggs” with you, I found out it is not about increasing the level of difficulty each time the eggs are hidden, but rather it is about enjoying family traditions and making memories from them!
I love you Ellie!