Easter has always been a special holiday in our home. One part of what makes it special is the traditional egg hunt. Like most of you, we enjoy the tradition of plastic eggs filled with goodies, scattered here, there, and everywhere we can think of to make it at least a wee bit challenging for the kids searching for them. We always make sure to make some of them obvious enough for the littlest of our littles so that their attention span doesn’t play out before their basket is full. The older kids know to ignore those eggs. But one year, so did one of the little ones they were intended for.
Our youngest, who had just turned two, was a gentle soul who always preferred simplicity over excess and quiet over noise. She still does. But on this particular day—the day we thought she would be happy to fill her basket with candy-filled eggs---this little darlin’ happily brought her basket over to show us that she had found an egg. One. Just one. Then she sat down on the steps of the front porch, opened the egg, and started eating the candy that was inside.
We prompted her to go look for more, but she slowly shook her head. She had candy in her basket, and candy in her mouth. She was ‘one and done’. She didn’t need any more than what she already had. We prompted her again, assuring her it was okay to find more, but she didn’t budge. So, we gave the older kids the ‘go ahead’ to gather the rest of the eggs and called it good.
As parents and grandparents, we need to learn a lesson from the simplistic contentment of that two-year-old. We need to learn to let them know that there are plenty of instances where ‘one and done’ is the best choice to make. We need to STOP pushing our children toward more and supposedly better. More friends. More activities. Better grades. Better clothes. More food. More money. Better jobs. INSTEAD of these things, we need to let them know that it is more than okay to be content with fewer things, that doing their best is more important than always being the best, that money doesn’t buy happiness, that happiness has to come from inside one’s self, and that always going after more is a never-ending journey that leads nowhere.
We need to encourage our children to find their worth and confidence in who they are, not what they have. In other words, as I’ve been known to say a time or two…or some other great big number of times: our children need to know that they are ‘enough’ just because they are ours and that we love them unconditionally for it.