A new twist on an old egg hunt

If you have never watched your parents run across the lawn from opposite directions, trying to beat each other to the Easter egg they had just spotted in the empty bird bath, you have been missing something. That will be a fun memory that sticks with me for the rest of my life.

On Easter Sunday 2010, my 17-year-old son Matt added a new twist to the time-honored tradition of searching for candy-filled plastic Easter eggs. Since we seem to be out of little kids at the moment, he decided to use the next funniest thing he could think of — the old people in his life.

He came home from work on Saturday carrying a bag of plastic eggs and a grocery sack.

“You’re going on an egg hunt tomorrow,” he said, giving me a stern look.

“I am?”

“Oh, yeah,” he responded. “You are.”

So I did. After a few hours of hauling brush and moving logs on Sunday, I was handed an Easter bucket and told to find the eggs he had hidden in the yard. My husband Eric refused to help. He just stood there and laughed as Matt yelled out helpful instructions.

“Go left,” Matt hollered. “Warmer, warmer … colder! Go back!”

It took me a half hour to find eight eggs. He had filled them with Dove chocolates and root beer barrels.

Later we went over to my parents’ house for Easter dinner. Afterward, Matt had a surprise for his grandparents.

“Guess what, Nana?” Matt said to my mom. “You and Poppy are going on an Easter egg hunt.”

Mom and Dad were more than game to try – they were excited. Nick and his friend Jessica helped Matt hide eggs and we all laughed as Matt skipped through the front yard wearing a bucket on his head as a helmet.

“No one has frolicked on our front lawn in a while,” Poppy commented.

“Quit looking out the window,” I replied. “That’s cheating.”

It was a beautiful afternoon. Poppy was clutching a green Easter-decorated bucket; Nana had a pretty yellow hat she had grabbed from the closet.

“Where did you get that cute bucket?” Nana asked Poppy.

“From the kid,” Poppy answered, gesturing at Matt.

“This morning it held all our crayons,” I mumbled, wondering exactly where the bits of colored wax would show up.

And then they were off.

Poppy started out in the lead, pulling a couple eggs out of trees and a bush. Nana found one in a tree, then swiped a couple from Poppy’s bucket so they were tied. They were kind of wandering slowly at this point, but as they found more eggs they started hurrying more. We made it into the back yard with the two of them teasing each other about who had more eggs.

Nana was on one end of the yard poking around in the decorative rocks while Poppy investigated a garden box at the other end. Matt skipped between the two and said, “Bird bath.”

Both of them whipped around, spotted the brightly-colored egg and took off running toward the bird bath. Meanwhile, Eric and the kids and I were laughing hard and trying to give out hints for others.

Toward the end, Poppy had eight eggs and Nana had seven. One was still out there.

Matt stood there with a quizzical look on his face, trying to remember which egg hadn’t been plucked yet. Then Poppy spotted a yellow egg on a bench.

“Mine!” he yelled (as any mature 69-year-old man would) and snatched up the egg.

Smiling, he ambled over to my mom and dropped it in her basket.

“There,” he said. “Now we’re tied.”

He ambled off toward the boat with a smug look on his face.

Nana told me she had never hunted for Easter eggs before. Her family didn’t do that when she was a child, and then she had kids of her own and was doing the hiding part.

“That was so much fun,” she said, giving Matt a hug.

When my dad gathered up the kids and my husband and herded them onto the pontoon boat for a ride around the lake, Mom and I walked up the stairs to the deck to watch them. On the top step, Dad had left his bucket of eggs sitting protected from the wind. Mom spotted it and smiled.

While the others were out on the boat, she emptied everything but one jelly bean or a root beer barrel out of each of Dad’s eggs, dumping the goodies into her yellow hat. She now had possession of all of the M&M’s and Dove chocolates and a large majority of the jelly beans. She even remembered to put the basket back right where she found it.

When the rest of the gang came back, Dad wandered up onto the deck, then spotted his basket and snatched it up.

“Geez, I can’t believe I left that here,” he said. “I should have taken it with.”

He looked at Mom’s innocent smile and immediately became suspicious. He picked up his eggs and began shaking them one by one, listening to the rattle inside. The first few fooled him. Must have been root beer barrels. Then he got to one that only held one jelly bean.

“Hey!” he bellowed and cracked it open.

My boys and Jessica were laughing so hard I thought they would bust a gut. I was just kicking myself for not bringing my camera or video camera.

Yep, the Easter egg hunt of 2010 will definitely go down in the record books as one of the funniest things ever. According to Matt, old people are funnier than little kids.