Every morning is Easter morning...

Part 4: the hunt

When I was growing up, we spent a lot of time on big gift days waiting. We were never allowed to see what Santa brought until the adults were awake with coffee in one hand and a camera in the other, in prime photo op position to capture our surprised faces. I don't know what would have happened if we broke protocol to sneak in and check out the loot before we woke the 'rents. Likely our gifts would have vaporized immediately at our blatant rule-breaking or something equally as horrifying. {Shudder}
To my knowledge, none of us ever took such a risk to find out.

Same thing on Easter morning--get up, wake parents, sit in hallway and wait for them to be ready. It was irritating and exhilarating all at the same time. What better way to build up the anticipation than ten minutes or so of jittery booty scoots in the most boring spot of the house, chatting with sisters about what could possibly be waiting for us around the corner?

I was always jealous of the kids who got to raid their stash within seconds of waking, Christmas Story style, with parents groggily moping down the stairs to the sounds of paper tearing and children shrieking with joy. However, now that I am in the driver's seat (or more appropriately, co-driver), I can totally appreciate why my dear old mom and dad kept such a tight leash on us.

With all the work and planning that goes into each special day, the biggest pay-off, worth more than any sum of gifts combined, is the reaction of discovery. As I already mentioned, my kids have to ease into their reactions a bit for now. Once they are a little older and the adrenaline of memory kicks in, I'm sure a more immediate result will likely ensue.

An example of why this system works is the happenings of our egg hunt. In the Ouellette house, if we saw a bright plastic egg out of the corner of our eyes, we snapped our heads back in place (maybe with a little elbow poke and swift nod to a sister in that general direction) and made a mental note of where to find that egg when the time came. We did not just grab any old egg we found whenever we found it. No, sir. Again, cameras needed to be in hand. The grown ups needed to be ready.

Now that I'm a Clayton, I'm a little slower on the uptake. While I sat on the couch in a zombie-like fashion, Addie began picking up eggs all over the place. The impromptu hunt was on and by the time I snapped to it and realized what she was doing, I only got a few shots of the excitement. They are still pretty cute, but the Ouellette inside of me is thinking, Just imagine all the images I could have taken had I been prepared!!!

Somewhere down the line and somewhere in the middle I shall find my grove, I'm sure. Part of me really wants to preserve that part of my childhood and pass it onto my girls so they too can know the elated torture of patience on such a glorious day. Another part of me says aw the heck with it, just let 'em go. Either way the days, the events, the moments fill us with memories that build a legacy. It's called tradition. And I'm such a sucker for it.

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