Bright and early on Saturday morning a hundred or so 2- and 3-year-olds lined the edge of a field, eyeballing the colorful eggs scattered about and wondering what was afoot. Parents too lined the field, holding kids back until the hunt began.
As I stood among them I overheard egg-collecting strategies being discussed in hushed tones. My kid, however, was nowhere in sight. I craned my neck and could just make out my husband weaving his way through the crowd, our daughter in his arms. Just then the horn went off. Kids and parents alike went tearing onto the field and I was left standing alone on the sideline.
The moment my husband reached me our daughter squirmed out of his arms. Her feet hit the ground and she turned on her heel, teetering off as fast as her wobbly toddler legs would carry her. Egg hunt, schmegg hunt. She had places to go and people to meet. Or make that one giant white bunny to meet.
When we caught up with her she was standing amidst a throng of older kids waiting to have their picture taken with the Easter bunny. She watched as a few kids had their turn, giggling and shrieking “Eeeser bunny” at the top of her lungs. I don’t know how she did it but in no time she had jockeyed her way to the front of the circle. And then, in a brief lull between kids, our daughter made her move. She stepped forward and waved, then made kissy lips. Then more waves and more kissy lips. She held up her hands for double high fives, then stretched out her arms and hollered “hug” until the Easter bunny picked her up. When he did she poked him in the eye, then leaned in and planted a kiss on his furry cheek.
She alternated hugs and kisses and pokes for a minute or two until the Easter bunny set her down to move on to the next kid. Our daughter, however, was not done with the Easter bunny. She hugged his legs and circled him, then hugged his legs some more. Despite the lack of attention she wouldn’t leave his side.
It was a regular Kodak moment if ever there was one and darn if I didn’t miss it. I wasn’t planning on taking bunny photos and didn’t bring the right lens for it. Dumb, I know. It’s some consolation knowing she’ll show up in the photos of at least a few dozen other families. Ha.
At the end of it all my daughter completely missed the egg hunt and I, a lovely photo op. But oh, just to be there to behold her delight. It was extraordinary. And to top it off, her sweet little friend with a basketful of eggs graciously shared a few. Next year I will be ready. I will not be bested by an Easter bunny again.