I guess most people remember when they found out that Santa Claus didn’t really pop down and up their chimneys. Of course, many were suspicious of this particular clause in the story anyway, having figured out that their home didn’t even have a chimney. This fact further complicated the notion of an overweight old guy in a very furry suit zooming his way down and up tightly constricted spaces, making the whole story even less plausible. Of course, such realizations are simply part of growing up in our culture, sort of like finding out that one of your favorite politicians may actually have fudged the truth on certain matters as well. And that even before the election, not to mention all that came afterwards.
At any rate, we endure most of the rites of passage and even embrace some of them, especially the ones that give maximum freedom with minimum responsibility, like getting your driver’s license while your parents furnish you a vehicle, pay your insurance and give you gas money. As parents, though, many of those rites take us sadly past the preferred memories of our children as children and on into the dubious dreams of adulthood.
Among events in that category, similar to realizing that your kids no longer believe in Santa Claus, is finding out they consider themselves too old to hunt Easter eggs. While we take pride in their emerging maturity and developing talents, we have mixed feelings about the loss of certain family rituals.
Our oldest two grandsons are moving right along into and through that territory now. At fourteen and sixteen, Gage and Hunter are definitely a bit past colored eggs and bright plastic shells. They do, however, retain a certain fondness for the color green.
And so it was, in an unusual bit of creative insight, I hatched the idea of hiding dollar bills on the afternoon of our most recent Resurrection Day celebration. Grandma Randa and Christy agreed to help Papa Doc hide the currency before Craig and the boys came over in mid-afternoon.
I was pretty sure if the boys had half as much fun finding as we had hiding, we’d all have a Merry Easter.
Although a bit late for the appointed meal, Christy’s brother, Jay, and his girlfriend, Leah, joined us as well. After we all enjoyed a very early supper or whatever the post meridiem version of “brunch” is, we all went outside on a sunny but quite breezy and definitely chilly Sunday evening. We laid out the perimeters of the search area and offered various hints, encouragement and ridicule at appropriate intervals. It’s actually quite amazing how well paper money blends in with pots, rocks, blocks, siding and natural artifacts such as trees, particularly when the dollar bills are carefully rolled or folded and pushed into tiny crevices. Both of the boys stepped practically on top of slightly visible money on several occasions. As the saying goes, if those little partially hidden prizes had been snakes, Hunter and Gage would have suffered numerous bites.
Eventually, due to the persistence of each member present, all of the dollar bills were accounted for and everybody seemed to rather enjoy themselves, even though there were no eggs to peel or candy to eat. In all honesty, though, it seemed as if most of the adults sort of wished they were teenagers again, at least for this one afternoon.
As for figuring out a thing or two about what kids and grandkids might enjoy, well, I’d say that traces back to well before our beginnings. I think that’s why Papa God went way beyond anything we could afford and offered us all of the grace we would ever need, nailed to a tree. And knew none of us would ever outgrow that gift.