Easter is about much more than egg hunts and a big ol’ rabbit posing for pictures with little ones. However, in small towns across Kansas such festivities remind winter -weary children and adults that spring truly has arrived. With the promise of sugary treats, hope rises like sap in tots impatient to collect brightly colored eggs tempting them from a green lawn. Their enthusiasm should be bottled and sold.
It’s been years since I bundled tiny girls up to attend an egg hunt. It had been so long that it was almost like a new experience to watch my three-year-old granddaughter’s eyes light up when she spied rainbow colored eggs polka-dotting the courthouse lawn. It was cute to see her greeting other egg hunters with friendly “hi’s” and cheery smiles.
She’d practiced hunting at Grandma’s house the previous Easter and spotted all the treasure tucked under pillows and between cushions in the living room. This year, her parents had coached her some before she visited, so she knew the purpose of an empty Easter basket. Once she arrived, we did a run through in our backyard so she’d know what to expect at the real deal on Saturday morning.
From the moment she spied her straw container as she came through grandma and grandpa’s door, she was on the lookout for bright orbs. She’d already discovered she needed to open each oval to see the riches inside. Hello Kitty and princess big girl panties drew oohs and ahs from this recently potty-trained toddler. Fancy socks to wear with her favorite tennis shoes earned more exclamations. When she found the marshmallow or Cheerio loaded goodies, she clapped and squealed, “Mallow, mallow,” or “O’s, yeah!” While I was sure chocolate would have garnered even more excitement, Grandma knew her little one didn’t need more candy since she’d receive sweets donated by area merchants at the community egg hunt the next morning.
As newcomers to the area, we arrived early to make sure we knew what was going on. Thank goodness, the organizers kept matters simple for parents and kids. Age-designated hunting grounds were well-stocked so each participant could gather at least three eggs. Much to parents and grandparents’ delight, a white, fluffy, human-size Easter Bunny with a pink cotton tail arrived early enough to pose for pictures with expectant youngsters. Our little one was intrigued enough to wave for several minutes but unwilling to crawl on the bunny’s lap for a photo.
Business people in the area did more than supply eggs with toys, stickers, and candy inside. To my surprise, every participant received a ticket from a sponsor so each child received an additional treat bag. Little Miss G hung onto hers like a pro as she hopped and skipped with daddy to exchange it for a beribboned sack of goodies.
As I followed my granddaughter on her happy journey to retrieve her unexpected treat, I considered how nice it is to live where business people work to make a holiday festive for children, parents, and grandparents. Those treats are reminders of generous and good-hearted folks.