I could tell you about the Easter Egg Hunts of my childhood. Once we hunted the eggs in about 2 feet of snow. Many times we hunted them in rain. But the truth is, the most memorable egg hunt was when I was an adult.
My family had just moved into our newly built home in the country. My son was going to start kindergarten soon and his teacher always visited her new students during the summer months. At the visit, she remarked how wonderfully big our living room and dining room were. I warmed with pride.
We started a tradition that year of having a Halloween party for our children’s friends. I spent months making a personalized cloth “goodie bag” for each child. We invited all the students in the age groups of our children to these parties.
Word spread about how “child friendly” we were, and before I knew what had happened, I agreed to allow all of the kindergarten classes (three classes with a total of 72 students) to have an Easter Egg Hunt in our “park-like” yard.
Each child was to bring a dozen cooked and decorated eggs, their basket and a sack lunch to the party. The school bus would deliver the children to our home and several mothers would come early to hide the eggs in our yard. The children would arrive at 11 a.m. Our acreage was not equipped to park two school buses, so the drivers would return to the school until the hunt and lunch were over.
The teachers estimated the egg hunt would take about 30 minutes and then the children could sit around on the park benches or grass to eat their lunch. It was a wonderful plan and I was jubilant as I helped to hide the 900 or so eggs.
The buses arrived and out bounced the excited children. They were impatient to start hunting eggs, as several had already spied an egg or two, but they lined up near the house until the buses were safely out of sight.
Then the hunt began. It resembled a swarm of bees or ants. There were children everywhere. Most were hunting eggs, but some of the more adventurous boys were hunting small creatures instead.
All was going well until . . . it started to rain. Instinct caused all the children and adults to run toward my house! The doors were open and everyone started pouring in. Wet people! The smaller people had baskets of eggs, the teachers had bags of lunches.
What could I do? I couldn’t say, “Get out!” So we steered the little darlings into my carpeted dining room and living room and they sat down on the floor with their eggs and lunches, all 72 of them!
We decided to NOT give them anything to drink. The chaos created by wet eggshells, half eaten eggs and sandwiches was enough for me to think about cleaning up!
The rain shower didn’t last long, but the hunt was over and finally so was lunch.
The buses returned and collected the kids. Several of the mothers stayed and tried to restore my home to it’s previous fairly pristine condition, to no avail. A professional was needed to extract the remnants of the egg hunt from my carpet.
Although we continued to have the Halloween Parties for many years to come, that was the first and last Easter Egg Hunt I would ever host.