The egg:child ratio was greatly lacking. Maybe our town didn’t know there’d be so many kids scrambling for these crappy plastic eggs. Or maybe we were just in the wrong spot on the recreation field. But finding three was a hard fought miracle. Two of the eggs were in the snow. And as Miriam was surrounded by kids with baskets overflowing with eggs, she lost it. And then I lost it. I couldn’t find a way to explain to her five-year-old face why the other kids all had tons of eggs and why she only had three.
I’d bought a beautiful Easter basket for her at Rite Aid the day before. I was so excited about this egg hunt. It started at noon and was close enough to our house that I could still get to work on time at 2pm. I had such high hopes for this moment. But it dissolved rapidly into tears. Hers and then mine.
I tried distraction. I told her we’ll go see the Easter Bunny and she’ll feel better. He seemed to be a very animated bunny over by the bleachers and I knew she’d enjoy that. But she said no. Through tears, she told me that the Easter Bunny will be mad at her for not finding a lot of eggs. Cue my heart breaking into a million pieces.
So first, we’re Jewish. I’m new at this Easter Bunny stuff. I didn’t grow up with it. But I like to consider myself a “joy catcher”. I look for (and usually find) joy in the most obscure places. Because it’s a daily fight for me. To not succumb to the deep sadness I live with everyday. So I embrace the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus and I’ll throw in anything else that brings me joy. Because some days, it’s practically a cage match of joy vs. sadness.
But back to the egg hunt… I have no idea where she heard that the Easter Bunny would be mad about her eggs. But I told her emphatically, semi-holding back my own tears, that that wasn’t true. The Easter Bunny loves her and all kids and he just wants us all to have fun. No matter how many eggs we find. She started to pull herself back together eventually. But it was a rough one. We finally made our way to the Easter Bunny and she gave him a hug that spoke volumes.
We started our walk back to the car, two blocks away. Miriam explained she was still “disappointed about the eggs” but starting to feel better. I told her we were going to another super big egg hunt next Sunday and there’d be lots of eggs. I also knew that I would hide a giant bag of eggs in my purse so we’d never be the victim of a poor egg:kid ratio ever again. There’s plenty of time for her to learn lessons like today. She doesn’t need to start at five-years-old. I’m raising a second generation “joy catcher” after all.
It’s been a rough week for me. I found out my manager at my job is going to a different store in our company. We’ve worked together for almost eight years. He hired me three weeks after Noah died. I was a smiling, fragile mess and he hired me. He had faith in me. He wasn’t afraid of me like so many people would’ve been. He cheered me on as I put my life back together, day by day. He went through years of fertility stuff with me, always listening to updates and always understanding of my days of 5:30 am blood tests and negative pregnancy tests. Fertility treatments are the ultimate “egg hunt”.
So, the “joy catcher” in me was challenged this week. It’s going to be an adjustment. It’s going to be uncomfortable. But maybe it’s time to go outside my comfort zone. I have to see just how many eggs I can find to put into my basket. And whether it’s three or three hundred, The Easter Bunny won’t be mad.
All you need is one good egg. Keep hunting until you find it.