Friday, April 18, 2014

A Hard Life Lesson

Last night I found out that a local charity was putting on an Easter egg hunt. While we're not religious, we do follow a lot of the traditions of typical Christian families, so I knew the kids would love it. I didn't tell them about the egg hunt cause, well, they're kids. I knew I'd hear about it every 5 seconds until the moment we walked out the door.

This morning Joshua was a sweet baby and let me sleep in. A little too late. I woke up to Olivia crawling in bed with me, looked at the time and jumped up. We were supposed to be leaving in 5 minutes! I casually told the girls what we were going to do and needless to say, they cooperated easily in getting ready *really* fast!

The coordinators of the egg hunt set it up that volunteers were going to hide 1,500 eggs around the park. Now, for those not local to me, our park is actually a waterfront green space that stretches about 5 kilometers. Parents were asked to not enter the park until 9am so we took the long way as the quickest way was through the park from our end of town and I didn't know where the coordinators considered the beginning of the park.

We arrived to the main/typical "start point" of the park at 9:02am. We could see a bunch of kids walking all around with their little baskets. Very quickly I noticed no eggs. I thought no biggie, all the obvious ones were understandably grabbed quickly. The girls ran ahead of slow me with the stroller. Walking further through the park, still no eggs. I'm also seeing majority of these kids baskets are empty.

My heart dropped.

Once I caught up to the girls at the playground I saw the problem. Several children and their supposedly adult parents were at the playground with everything from traditional Easter baskets to grocery bags to *5 gallon pails* FULL of eggs. Were these coordinators helping out the kids? Nope! These were greedy, selfish "parents" who knowingly broke the rules, came to the park early and encouraged their children to break the rules and be greedy and collect as many eggs as possible.

Thankfully for Brianna and Olivia we ran into some friends who's kids shared a couple eggs they managed to find. By this point, Brianna was angry with the people who were unfair to everyone else, but was happy to get one egg. To try to distract Olivia who just didn't understand why people would do this (for that matter I don't get it either), I suggested we go look for ducks along the water and maybe we'd spot some eggs. While we were down there a lovely little boy ran up to the girls and offered 2 of his eggs to them. Again, a child who only found a few.

We continued down the bike path that runs the length of the park towards out house and the girls and I talked a lot about the people who spoiled the egg hunt. We talked about the ways I raise them and how sometimes doing the right thing seems dumb because we lose out, but at least we know in our hearts that we did the right thing.

We made the most of our morning climbing rocks along the water and chatting with the ducks. A trip to Tim Hortons for a treat and a stop at the close-to-home playground may have also soothed hurt feelings a little ;)

Brianna also had a great afternoon as she got pulled over by the police on her bike and given a coupon for a free Dairy Queen treat as a reward for wearing a bike helmet properly while riding! (another always-do-the-right-thing lesson as she was the only one of her friends wearing a helmet and so the only one to get the coupon)

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