It was a beautiful day. Kids were gathered for the annual Easter egg hunt – covering the perimeter of the field. Parents and children alike were watching the field carefully as the eggs were tossed about and spread evenly. This was a day of fun and lightness. It was about joy and tradition. It was a day meant to be silly, grab as many eggs as possible in a frenzy that seemed to last just seconds and then just smile and enjoy the treasure of the day – simple pleasure. I held the hand of my daughter and we smiled with excitement and both shared the same enthusiasm for the moment when they would say “go”.
Then, all of a sudden, as we watched, the main egg layer reached gently into her pocket and pulled out what appeared to be a special, shiny, glowing golden egg. She tossed it into the field and at that moment I remembered that if you found the golden egg you received a special prize. Who knew what this prize was or if it was worth the peril of trying to get it. In that moment, my daughter and I both saw that egg. We knew exactly where it was – only mere feet from us – and we knew that WE were going to get that egg (or perhaps I should rephrase and say that I knew that we were going to get the egg – my daughter was 4 and she was just there to have fun).
I held her hand tight, looked in her eyes and said – “do you want to try for the golden egg?” and, she said “Yes”. In an instant, we took off. My eyes were on the egg and I was just about to grab it for my little girl, so proud of the fact that she would get this prize – my hand a mere inch away, when I looked behind me and saw my little girl on the ground crying! I let the egg go and instantly a little boy snatched it and I turned my attention to my daughter. She said “Mommy, I couldn’t run that fast!” and it turned out my little girl had tripped and I had nearly dragged her to the golden egg! My heart sank and I instantly realized that while I was trying to do what I thought was best for her by getting that silly egg, by turning my attention towards this other thing – I had completely let her down. In that instant, with the madness of kids frantically grabbing easter eggs as fast as possible, my daughter sat teary eyed with her shoe off of her foot!
I quickly grabbed her shoe, wiped away her tears, snatched her up and said “It’s ok, honey, let’s just do what we can” and we grabbed a handful of eggs and found our way to a quiet patch of grass. We sat there, my daughter asking “Mommy, why did you run so fast” and me continually beating myself up for having completely had my focus in the wrong place. For nights afterwards, my daughter would ask me again and again about the golden egg, what I thought was in it, and why I wanted it so much.
Now I laugh at this story and have the perspective to realize that this will not scar my child. Yet, the lesson of the golden egg has stayed with me. How many other times am I looking somewhere else, running as fast as I can, with the best of intentions to grab something that I believe will be the best thing for everyone, when really I should just be looking in my daughter’s eyes? This echoes well beyond parenting.
My hope for this blog is that it will be a place to explore, to pose questions, to search for answers and to share our experiences. Thank you for listening!