|Lukas (green sweater) should have turned and found the eggs on the perimeter.|
"Oh Look, there's an Easter Egg Hunt at the community center this morning. That should be fun."
Those were our famous last words, as we finished up our late breakfast this morning and decided to head out to our local venue to happily gather a few eggs, meet with some friends of ours, and soak in some rare Seattle sunshine.
Little did we know the carnage that awaited us. When we arrived and surveyed the scene, which consisted of hundreds of kids in the 4-6 age category alone, clamoring for position to gather what they could of what seemed like less eggs than the total number of kids, we should have know that for most there wouldn't be a happy ending.
What transpired was nothing short of the opening scene of The 74th Annual Hunger Games. Not the opening scenes of the movie, but rather the actual games within the movie. Not to be a spoiler, but that's where, when the horn sounds all the kids race to the center to pick their weapons and supplies, and half of the kids immediately get slaughtered by the other rampaging contestants.
During this egg hunt when the horn sounded - check that, before the horn sounded because quite a few of the kids got a jump on the competition - those hundreds of kids descended on that field like a swarm of locust, leaving little unscathed in their path.
There were kids obviously better prepared than we were with light and easily maneuverable pails, kids plastic grocery bags, and even optimistic kids with large plastic garbage bags. Lukas? He had a his very nice woven and lined Easter basket. It was nice to look at, but not optimal for carrying while gathering eggs.
Shortly after I took the picture above, he got knocked over as the screaming hoard made it's way through the field. Mrs. LIAYF rushed out to pick him up, grab his hand, and help him search. But alas, there was little left. They ran all the way to the end and found only one egg. And they were some of the lucky ones.
As I made my way out to find them, it was like walking through the remnants of a freshly fought battlefield. There were dozens of crying and wounded kids being led away by their consoling parents, their baskets empty. Only a precious few had baskets filled with plastic booty. Needless to say Lukas was a bit upset himself at the result of his 'Hunt'. Mrs. LIAYF and I consoled and reassured him that we would reward him at home for his effort.
But then, about an hour later an announcement came over the loudspeaker. "Line up now for the Adult Egg Hunt". Adult hunt?!, I thought. Then it hit me that THIS was the time for me as a father to provide for my family. To gather some eggs and make my son happy. And I'd do it no matter what!
I quickly started over to the line up, where well over a hundred other parents were gathered as well. But as I was making my way over, I heard Lukas from behind me. He was coming to go with me. I hesitated, as this would certainly slow me down and take away any advantage my quickness would lend me against the other mostly middle aged participants. But I couldn't say no.
As we were lined up along the fence before the start I had Lukas in front of me holding the basket. I thought to myself that this simply would not do. So I picked him up, all 40 lbs of him and made a seat with my right arm for him to sit in front of me. And then we were off. Carrying him it seemed like I was competing in one of those odd ball Worlds Strongest Man competitions. Strategy had to be my friend as I spied a grouping of eggs about 20 yards ahead. That was my goal.
I sprinted out there as fast as I could with Lukas on my arm in front of me and immediately picked up 4 eggs. "Yah! We are doing it!!" Lukas called as I tossed them in the basket. Then as I raced to another patch a few yards to my left and gathered up a few more before another woman could get them, Lukas laughed with joy. "Daddy's doing it!" He called out, laughing and enthusiastic. I raced around for a few more seconds with him and picked up another lone egg.
By then the hoard had moved down the field though, leaving us with our decent spoils. I put Lukas down and held his hand as we walked back to the blanket where Mrs. LIAYF waited.
In his other hand he held that woven basket, filled with just enough treat filled plastic eggs to sustain all of us for the rest of the afternoon as we happily picnicked in the rare Seattle sunshine.
Happy Easter everyone.