The notice came on Friday: Palmer needs to bring 24 filled eggs to school for an Easter egg hunt this week.
I supposed that this would probably be the best time to introduce the kids to American Easter.
Of course, they already know about Jesus rising from the dead and the Biblical side of Easter, but it’s now time to cover the other side of Easter: the eggs, bunny, basket side of Easter.
I asked the kids if they celebrated Easter in the Congo — when Jesus rose from the dead. Addie said yes. Palmer said no. This is a typical answer to “when you were in the Congo” questions.
I could not send our kids into one of the most important kid-to-kid battles for candy and toys without sufficient preparation and practice. This is a definite early-bird-gets-the-worm skirmish. I had images in my brain of our children standing at an Easter egg hunt, baskets in hand, confused with other kids finding eggs, toys, candy before our kids having any idea what they are to do. This should not happen to our children. We have to make up for all the years of experience their competitors will have!
So today, we set up an Easter egg hunt for them in the back yard, with empty eggs. After all, finding out that Easter eggs contain candy and toys may simply be too much for them to handle at one time. Then we set out the rules:
1. There are 25 eggs in the back yard. There will be zero eggs in the back yard before snack time. Hint hint.
2. Use the bag to your advantage to keep your hands free to pick up more eggs.
3. No pushing, shoving, or stealing of the eggs of siblings.
4. Do not follow another sibling. You will find more eggs if you use your own eyes and hands.
5. The goal is to find the most eggs.
The kids had a great time. One child was distinctly more strategic and successful. The other sibling may have occasionally forgotten why she went outside. The outside hunt was followed by two in the living room, one in their bedroom, and another one outside.
I then revealed that they were going to be hunting for eggs at school and at church with other children.
They are so excited! It’s fun to introduce American traditions to kids who haven’t had the chance to experience them, and yet are old enough to understand and enjoy what’s going on. Just wait until they find out that there are treasures inside those eggs! I anticipate some serious squeals of joy.
The kids have been trained and are ready. They know the rules. They have strategies. And if at the next Easter egg hunt, you see the Jewett children doing pre-hunt stretches, you’ll know why.