While holidays are supposed to be a time of pure pleasure, let’s be honest, they bring more stress than anything. It only get’s worse with age, as a child it meant a day off school and usually some sort of gift. The only negative about Easter was having to wear a tie to church in the morning, but now it has evolved into a major moralistic conflict over how intensely should I compete in the annual family egg hunt against my yet to be potty trained little cousins. Mind you, there is money at stake.

Last year, while everyone else was feasting on the Easter ham and all its trimmings, my appetite was lost and I sulked due to being able to count the number of eggs I had found on one hand. I guess some things never change, it flashed me back 25 years, but I’m an adult now, I should be able to dominate! Everyone else thought it was so cute that those five years old and under had so many eggs their baskets were overflowing. Yes, the site brought a tear to my eye too, but from sadness.

First of all, the contest isn’t really fair. The little ones don’t have as far to reach down for those just laying on the ground, it takes a concentrated effort for me to bend over. Plus, their parents help. It’s an extra set of eyes, having bifocals isn’t the same. Some of them are even held, not yet old enough to walk, yet still able to stomp on my hopes for success.

I yearn for those care free days again, not having to worry about feeling guilty if I accidentally trip a toddler while racing towards an egg and she breaks her arm. (Hey, I only did that once)
My moral code is constantly being challenged during the Hunt, wondering if I should pretend not to see those that lay out in the wide open grass or tell the youngsters I saw some out in the street…mind you, their parents are helping them.

I am fortunate and thankful to be part of a large family, which still keeps expanding, but the downside is…it’s more competition. After some rather lean years, there is now an abundance of little children again. Plus, pregnancies are still occurring. I think it’s a conspiracy to further stack the odds against me for the Hunt. It’s even more “joy,” when relatives come in from out of state with their little ones for the occasion. What? Not enough eggs where you live, have to come take more of mine? I always suggest coming for Memorial Day when the weather is warmer, but it never seems to work.

My relatives are also usually always late, if a gathering is scheduled for 6 p.m. it’s usually at least 6:30 until most of them arrive. It’s understandable for those with little ones, it’s a challenge to get them all ready and buckled in, but on Easter for the egg hunt nobody is EVER late. They are typically even early, which is unheard of.

It never fails, one of the little kids will find the egg with $20 amongst their mountainous collection. Money is nothing to them, they can’t even count to twenty, and would be just as excited over a jelly bean. Never mind that the $20 would about double my weekly earnings, I’ll just enjoy my melted Hershey’s kiss. At least I will have the prize of knowing, I let the little ones win….or maybe this year, there will be no holding back.