I love Easter. As a Christian, my primary reason for the joy I feel is obvious. But Easter has been extra special to me since Zach was just a little guy. Then as the other three came along, my love for Easter egg hunts, Easter attire, and all the fun decorations and colors kept getting bigger and bigger. When it came to egg hunts, we did it up big. To the tune of a hundred or so eggs big. But, as kids are in the habit of doing, mine grew up, we moved off the farm, and the egg hunts as we had known and loved them, ended. But not without having the last word, so to speak…
I think the last big hunt we did was around 2006 or 2007. But when we were getting ready to move in 2012, I was digging up some flowers to take with me. And guess what I found burrowed down in the dirt. Yep, an egg. A lavender colored egg containing a surprisingly well-preserved chocolate and peanut butter egg. No, I didn’t eat it. I don’t eat chocolate, but that’s a story for another day.
I laughed when I found the egg. But after a chuckle or two, my mind started going other places. That thing had been hiding for five or six years. Despite regular weeding and hoeing over the years, somehow that egg had managed to stay hidden until that particular moment. Why now? Granted, I was pretty emotional about leaving, but even that aside, I knew without a doubt that that egg had surfaced to tell me something important.
Finding that egg told me that no matter how hard we try to ignore, bury, or deny our problems, pain, or grief, they will never go away. Not until we pick it up and deal with it. Finding that egg said that refusing to see things for what they are only works for so long before they surface and force you to deal with them. But…
Finding that egg also told me that even when things seem to be absolutely, positively, unquestionably rotten, stinky, sad, horrible, and all that other gunk, there is ALWAYS something good—wonderful, even—if we just allow ourselves to see and believe it. Sometimes we have to dig down a bit to find it, but it’s there. It’s always there.
Now let’s bring this around to what you can do as a parent or grandparent to help your kids understand and actually believe these two truths. My suggestion is that you give them an egg. Give them a leftover Easter egg (the plastic kind, please) with a couple of jellybeans and a copy of this article inside. Yes, I know, it will have to be a jumbo-sized egg for the paper to fit, but that’s okay. Then tell them how much you love them, that you will always be there to help them deal with the yucky stuff and to celebrate the good stuff, and then tell them they might not want to eat the jellybeans because no one knows for sure how old they are. JK!