Recently, I have found myself yearning for specific parenting moments of the past. One of my favorites, The Easter Egg Hunt.
It has been a few years since we stopped driving into the city to participate in the giant hunt at the zoo; but this year, I’m missing this tradition.
We used to arrive early to assure ourselves a decent parking place and a spot near the front of the line, even before the gates opened. Some years, we were met with rain and some years, there were fluffy, friendly types of clouds as we moved quickly to be part of the first egg hunts in his age group. It took encouragement for my son to carry his own basket and typically, one of the adults ended up holding it before we returned back to our car.
I loved the picture opportunities. My favorites, were the unplanned moments when my son was just about to pick up that inviting egg or when he watched another child grab the one that he intended for his collection.
The first couple of years, my son would participate; however, it wasn’t long before he realized that turning in his plastic eggs for candy at the zoo gate didn’t benefit him. Rarely, were there choices for a boy with a severe dairy allergy. The work and effort, proved unimportant…even for “the fun of it.”
During the big occasion, we would see other people that we knew with their children making a day out of the event. We were usually able to get a few animal sightings in and a trip or two on the merry-go-round, but that was usually the extent of it. We didn’t know back then about all the challenges that noise and crowds presented for our sensitive kid. I would forget, but then later that day remember, that this trip would make him tired and hungry and leave him fighting the nap that was just what he needed.
I asked my son if he was interested in finding an egg hunt. He looked at me as if I was crazy. He looked as if he was shocked that I would even think that he would enjoy a thing like that! Clearly, he doesn’t fully understand my love for tradition.
I told him that we used to go every year, he couldn’t remember. What?!
I tried to provide details that might jog his memories. He still didn’t remember.
In addition to the end of the Easter Egg Hunt Era, he is also well aware of the fact that there is no Easter Bunny. He knows the truth about the tooth fairy, the leprechauns, and now, even Santa. Santa was a hard one to let go of… for me. I guess I wanted him to believe in the magic for just a bit longer, especially during some of our biggest challenges.
I asked my son if he still wanted an Easter basket even though he knew it was us. He said that he would.
Honestly, I was relieved.
What are the traditions that you miss now that your child is growing up?