Last wk Apr 9 Apr 10 Apr 11 Apr 12 Apr 13 Apr 14   Next wk  

April 9, 2006 - Sunday
Every year around Easter our town recreation department hosts an "Easter Egg Hunt," although calling it a "hunt" is a rather a stretch. They basically lay about 1500 plastic eggs with little trinkets inside out on the town field and let the kids run and gather as many as they can. Naturally, it's mayhem. The saving grace, I suppose, is that they break it up into three groups: toddlers up to three, children 3-6, and then kids 6 and up. The ambiguity of 3 and 6-year-olds is apparently done on purpose so that parents can decide which group is more appropriate for their particular child. Harry is 6 and in the interest of a positive experience, particularly because he's small for 6 and runs slower than many of his peers, we had him go with the 3-6 year-olds, Jeremy's group.

Of course, Harry didn't stay with Jeremy at all during the "hunt" which may last as little as 2-3 minutes for each group, and probably less than a minute for the oldest kids. I have to confess to probably worrying more than I should about Harry succeeding at things like this. I tipped him off before the start that he should think about not grabbing the first egg he came to and instead running ahead of the enormous crowd to an area where he could have more eggs to himself. And man did he get it. As soon as the horn sounded he took off for the farthest spot in the field and basically had the run of the place for several critical seconds. You can see his pile of eggs in the picture above. Jeremy, because he runs so much slower, got only five eggs, even with a similar strategy. Harry graciously shared several of his prizes with Jeremy later at home. In fact, Harry even shared one with Rip, who had gone in the older group. Rip is big for 6 and can move a lot faster than Harry and most other 6-year-olds, but he actually got shut out by the 8, 9, and 10 year-olds in the older group and got none. Indeed, he seemed to have a much less positive experience than Harry so it was probably the right choice.

As I said before, this event is mayhem. It is a mob of kids, and often parents, running maniacally across a field and I didn't keep up with Harry when he took off. I tried to keep an eye on him, but hung back with Jeremy to help him get a little ahead of the crowd, too. The boys' mother was there and I guess we know for next year that this is definitely a one-with-one event. I should have stayed with Harry and let mommy stay with Jeremy. As it was, the rush ended and Harry was nowhere in sight in the far area of the field where he had first headed. Sure, there was a mild sense of panic as I looked around, but I could definitely hear other more panicked parents looking and calling for their kids. Since Harry wasn't where I expected him at the far side of the field, I turned and ended for the side of the field where the hunt started. Sure enough, there was Harry standing by himself near the pole where we had been waiting originally; indeed, in the place where I should have expected him to be. I asked Harry why he had gone there and he pretty much said the same thing. He's a smart boy.

Comments, Opinions?