My mother, bless her, is a bulldog.
She called this morning, early.
“I have been thinking about your Easter egg hunt,” she announced without any preamble. She then proceeded to convey to me what I think is probably the apotheosis of the egg hunt – or at least it will be in our house. Here is the plan:
Every member of the family gets one egg upon which he or she writes a word that represents something he or she is hunting for in life. For family members who need a little inspiration in the word department, I am going to print out these suggestions. On Easter morning, everyone hides his or her own egg and hunts for the eggs that the others have hidden. Once you have found an egg, you stop hunting. That way, we each find what another is searching for.
I decided to run the plan by Youngest, since he so adamantly insists that he not get cheated out of the fullness of his youth just because his mother can’t deal with loss and change.
“Youngest,” I announced (you might notice the resemblance to my mother) “we are not going to be having a typical egg hunt this year. We all know there is no Easter bunny…”
I trailed off. The look on his face stopped me cold. He stared at me, wide-eyed, open-mouthed. The picture of shock. How dare I say such a thing?
He kept staring.
I laughed some more.
His face didn’t move at all.
I laughed so hard I banged my forehead on the steering wheel.
He surreptitiously checked the look on his face in the rear view mirror.
I couldn’t believe he could hold it so long. I kept laughing.
He kept staring.
I gave up.
“OK, OK, there is an Easter bunny."
His face returned to normal, a picture of benign interest.
"But we are going to handle the hunt the way we handle Christmas stockings,"I continued. "We are all going to give the Easter bunny a hand.” I then explained the re-born Easter egg hunt scenario.
“Sound good?” I asked.
He nodded his assent.
“Great. So off the top of your head, what word do you think you will put on your egg?”
“Mom,” he said slowly, as if speaking to someone exceedingly dense, “That is not something I can come up with off the top of my head. I am going to have to think about that. It’s gonna take some time.”
He knows his own heart and mind, my Youngest.