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