How To Hunt For Easter Eggs And Still Be A Good Person

easteregg

Dear Blue,

 

Last weekend was Easter. As part of the festivities, we took you to an Easter Egg hunt, which is essentially the springtime version of Trick or Treating.

 

Sidenote: Isn’t it interesting that Halloween and Easter, at least from a secular viewpoint, basically bookmark the beginning and end of winter? And what better way to celebrate the changing of the seasons with a truckload of Reese’s peanut butter eggs.

 

This Easter Egg hunt was at the kid’s museum. We sat around for about a half hour as more and more kids showed up in the amphitheatre. Then someone explained the rules, which is something I want to focus on in this letter.

 

The rules were quite clear and simple. They were:

 

  1. Each kid can only pick up 7 eggs.
  2. Only kids can pick up eggs.
  3. No eating of the contents of the eggs on the hunting grounds.
  4. All eggs must be captured within a 30 minute time limit.

 

Aaand go.

 

There was no age limit on this hunt, which meant that as a toddler still figuring out the basic concepts of inertia and gravity, you were not going to be at the front of the pack. Which we thought was fine, since clearly all kids would only pick up 7 eggs. And clearly all parents would remind their kids that they were only to pick up 7 eggs.

 

Clearly, this was not true. We went with you to hunt and peck through the barren wasteland of egg carcasses left behind by the rampaging horde of prepubsecents somewhere on the other side of the garden. Somehow, you patiently picked your way through the grounds and scavenged 5 eggs.

 

We left the field with our paltry collection, which you were more than happy with considering you had no idea they contained candy. You don’t even know what candy is yet, Blue, and this was not to be the occasion you discovered its many wonders.

 

Your mother and I, however, were not happy. There was rule-breakage going on here. As we exited, we saw several kids with baskets overflowing with eggs. They had taken far more than 7 eggs, and worse, they were grinning from ear to ear, basking in their illegally obtained bounty. Worse still, parents were doing nothing to change the situation. Some were even wearing the unmistakable glow of pride.

 

Rest assured, Blue. You will be a 7 egg kid. There are going to be times when you are selfish and greedy, and that’s okay. You’re a kid. What’s not okay is for us to let you get away with it. Or worse, to support it. Which is something I fear happens far too often in a society with capitalist bedrock. It’s not okay to break the rules just because the rules are flimsy. It’s not okay to take what you can because no one is stopping you. It’s not okay to support greed in any way, shape or form. It bothered, how many parents were letting their kids get away with breaking the rules in what could have been a very teachable moment on the idea of generosity and consideration of others.

 

To end on a positive note, though, of the 5 eggs you found, we ended up leaving with 3. You gave 1 egg to a little girl who only had 1 egg in her basket, because you’re sweet and gentle and kind. You gave 1 more egg to a mysterious black pipe sticking out of the ground, because you like to put things in pipes.

 

Which we’re cool with.

 

-Dad

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A Nightmare On Malabu Street

freddy

Dear Blue,

Today is Halloween, and judging by your reaction to your first Halloween party last weekend, it’s not your favorite holiday. We dressed you up as a cow and we were cartons of milk. Everything was going fine until you saw a skeleton decoration hanging in the hallway. You screamed and cried and did not like Halloween all that much.

So I’m guessing you might not like horror movies that much when you’re older, which may turn out to be the best thing for you. Just so you know, horror movies are a staple of Halloween. There are two kinds of horror movies. Ones that stay with you and ones that don’t. It’s pretty easy to make a movie scary, but it’s another thing entirely to make a movie terrifying. People watch horror movies to find the ones that stay with you. That way, they can proudly say they watched it and they made it out the other side. A good horror movie makes you feel alive, Blue.

Growing up in the 80’s, I had my fill of horror movies. Every week leading up to Halloween, I would stay up and watch horror movie marathons on a wood-paneled tv. The ones that really left their mark on me were The Nightmare on Elm Street movies.

Let me give you the basic 411 on Freddy Krueger, the main draw of the movies. Horribly burned with a fedora, a red-striped shirt and syringes on a gloved hand, he is one of the most iconic horror movie ghouls of all time. He visits kids in their nightmares, and there, he can pretty much do whatever he wants until they’re dead. In real life. He was gruesome, sadistic and completely terrifying. Thus, a big Halloween hit.

The concept of a psychotic murderer hunting me in my dreams and being able to cause real, physical harm terrified me. Naturally, I watched every movie. See my reasoning above. But these are also school nights, and your grandparents are less than pleased that I’m staying up late to watch scary movies that encourage me to never sleep again. So they came up with a solution.

One night close to Halloween, your grandmother comes into the kitchen while I’m doing homework. Her face is pale and she’s visibly shaken.

“What is it, mom?”

“I think I saw something downstairs. I don’t know what it-“

The downstairs door to the porch slams shut. What was that?

I stumble down the stairs, turn the corner. On the wall, I see a bright light and a silhouette of a gloved hand with needled fingers. Just as quickly as I glimpse it, it whisks away out of the light. Then the door slams again.

Dad. It has to be dad. Not Freddy….Not Freddy…

“Dad! I know it’s you!”

“Honey,” my mom says in a worried tone. “Your dad went to the store, remember?”

“Yeah, but…”

Cue the shocked close up, the spooky piano keys.

For the next fifteen minutes, I plant my 11 year old self on the tiny patio between the two level of stairs. I’m too terrified to go downstairs to check it out, but brave enough to stand watch for Freddy Krueger trying to come up the stairs to get your grandmother and tiny baby uncles, sleeping peacefully in their beds.

Freddy never shows up again. My father, however, does walk through the door a half hour later with a grocery bag in his arms.

“Dad! I know it was you!”

“Huh?”

“I know! You were Freddy Krueger! Don’t lie!”

He looks at me perplexed. “Michael, I was at the store this whole time.”

Oh no. He has invoked the law of Michael. Whenever he uses my real name and not one of the umpteen pet names he has for me, I know he’s serious. He really was at the store, and my mom was upstairs the whole time. There was someone else downstairs, and that person could only be the real Freddy Krueger. He was in our house.

I stayed up all night, too scared to go to sleep. For the next few days I tried to wrap my head around what happened. I was convinced that it couldn’t possibly be Freddy. That it had to be my dad. But how? He was at the store the whole time. How could he be in two places at once? He definitely went, because he had the bag. Those conundrums unsettled me, and my doubt left the slightest gap for the impossible to take root. It really was Freddy Krueger. In my house, trying to get me in my dreams.

I never watched those movies again. To this day, I haven’t watched them. And to this day, my dad has never admitted it was him. Even though I know it was. Had to be. There’s no other way, right? I mean…it can’t be…

Right?

Don’t worry, Blue. I’m STILL protecting my family from Freddy Krueger. He won’t get you.

-Dad

 

 

Grammy Tamie, Teacher of Wit

handsontummy
Your two grandmothers, waiting for your kung fu.

Dear Blue,

Your grandmother is in town. This is her first time ever traveling anywhere without your grandfather, so she’s very proud of herself. She should be. This is a big step for her and one I hope she makes more often. I have no doubts she will, because we are now basking in riches and can afford not one, but TWO whole couches to sleep on in our apartment. Plus, she has a grandson to dote on.

The other night, we were all sitting around, talking and feeling you mash your foot into your mother’s ribs. You’re getting so big now, Blue, that we can practically see footprints in your mother’s navel when you kick hard.

Suddenly, your grandmother begins waving her hands back and forth. “Arthritis,” she tells me, holding up her fingers to the light. “Just you wait, Michael. It will happen to you, too.”

I ask her, “Which fingers? I can’t tell.”

She holds up two fingers, one on each hand, and says with a grin, “Right there. You see?”

Then she cackles heartily. Arthritis or not, your grandmother has just flipped me the bird. Twice.

And she’s still very proud of herself.

-Dad