The world we live in dictates that the banker's day of Monday-Friday from 9-5 went by the wayside along with 35 cents a gallon gasoline. It seems we all work all the time and some days I do wonder why.And on other days, I just wonder how in the world I ended up where I am.
I'm in the recreation business...no, not THAT kind of recreation, the kind that involves kids playing baseball and senior citizens playing bingo. The majority of my fellow co-workers enjoyed Good Friday off and we're all enduring having Monday off as well, even though it's a furlough day...which is government for "have an extra day off, without pay, and be damned appreciative of the fact you have a job." I often want to remind them they're lucky to have me still hanging around. That said, I have just survived my 17th Annual Easter Egg Hunt.
I hope I never experience another one.
Every year while others enjoy their long week-end, my co-workers and I hide Easter Eggs in a public park for children ages Crawling - 12. My group consists of ages 4-6. I love those little kids. They still believe in stuff like the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy. You can reason with them and they still actually believe adults are in charge. Plus, they don't wear their pants hanging down under their butts. They bring colorful baskets, little girls wear dresses and bows in their hair while the boys wear tiny baseball caps featuring their parent's team of choice. Hiding the eggs isn't all that exciting....talking to them is more so. Every year I learn something I didn't hear the year before and it makes me laugh. Happily.
Management, however, can suck all the fun out of everything. This year they had the help of "The Unknown Woman."
The problem is one of logistics. The newspaper says we begin at Noon. What it fails to mention is that there are five age groups which hunt in order, not simultaneously. Try explaining to an irate 5 year old and his glaring Mama that you know it's difficult to wait for over 30 minutes but our turn is next. We've tried asking the powers that be to do it differently. We get their logical reply of, "Well, if parents have children in different age groups, they can only pick one child to watch."
And every year one of we, the staff, wearily offers, "What ever happened to family back-up? Grandma, Aunt, Cousin....?"
Every year, the staff loses.
So I took my sinus meds to ward off the pollen, which is [a] my mortal enemy [b] at it's height this time of year and [c] the heaviest in yes...the area I'm in charge of. Add to this joy the fact we hide eggs two hours prior to the event...then sit and wait. The 4-6 year olds have no idea about the true meaning of waiting and cranky.
Every year a parent complains...and we politely point to the Boss and ask them to share their ire with her. This year, someone took matters into their own hands.
What a nightmare!
This was the story I got after all was said and done. A woman in the crowd asked the Staff handling the 7-9 year olds why they didn't just line the kids up already. To keep kids from killing each other, we line them up inside the fence, side by side, so they don't trample each other. When the Staff members, all two of them compared to a crowd of over 50, saw we were done and headed their way, they lined up the kids. As soon as the line was formed, this woman yelled "Go!" and sent the kids scrambling. THEN SHE GOT IN HER CAR AND LEFT!
That was bad enough. The worst was still to come. When I arrived, the Boss was making all the kids give the eggs back so we could HIDE THEM ALL OVER AGAIN. Don't know who was more irate...us or the kids. I felt really bad for the little girl who'd won the "Special Silver Egg" which came with a prize. We were all horrified when she was asked to return it as well. Boss told the kids to "look the other way" while we hid the eggs. Yeah. Right. Then to add insult to injury she let the next group hunt while we hid the eggs.
Ever see a Farmer broadcast seeds? Grab a handful and just toss. Imagine the seeds were Easter eggs and you get the idea.
The kids "re-hunted" but the thrill was gone. For all of us. Then I hear a staffer screeching like my mockingbird Walter. Turned out one of the fathers had snuck around to the other side when he saw where the Silver Egg was hidden and was pointing it out to his kid.
A spirit of peace and love for this holiday season was genuinely missing.
And yet, I remember the happy faces. The grins for finding eggs, the tears for finding only one. The little boy who, when I asked how many he'd found said, "Five...and this frog!" as he thrust it toward my face. One child in the "disaster group" had been so traumatized that she refused to hunt again. I told her [and her Mom] that she was still entitled to candy and I would personally take her. Mom put her over the fence and when that kid latched onto my hand for dear life, all the anger just slid away. This little girl needed to remember Easter with happiness, not terror. So we got her candy, I walked her back to Mom and both were grinning ear to ear. Mom gave me a thankful smile that said more than words could. Suddenly the pollen didn't seem so bad.
On the way back to the car one of the little nieces of a co-worker decided to walk with me. She's 6 going on 45 and talks like an adult. When I asked her how things went, she beamed and said, "I met the Easter Bunny. Bunnies."
I asked if we still have a White Rabbit and a Chocolate Rabbit ...oh, politically correct has never been done so well. She nodded, then looked puzzled.
"There was something wrong with the White Bunny's feet," she confided with a frown.
"What?" I asked, knowing a male co-worker was in the suit, probably against his will.
"Well, his feet weren't fuzzy. He was wearing....," she said, looking around as if ready to give me a trade secret, "shoes."
"Really?" I asked as she nodded sagely.
So this year I learned, thanks to the observant eye of a child who was looking for more than Easter Eggs, that the Easter Bunny....wears Nikes.