This past weekend was International Zombie Day, the day we celebrate one of the most famous undead risings in the history of western civilization.
Irreverence aside, if you didn’t participate in or spectate an Easter egg hunt this past weekend, you’ve probably taken part in one in the past. And if you haven’t, you’re not really missing out on all that much. It’s mostly an excuse to teach our children how to be greedy, competitive bastards. Parents set excellent examples by cockblocking chocolate-hungry children and leaving them in a puddle of their own tears.
I worked this Easter, which wasn’t any sort of disappointment as my family doesn’t really do anything for this holy day – aside from the aforementioned egg “hunting” for the little ones. I have three younger sisters, two of whom are half-sisters – Izzy and Gabby – are quite young at 3 and 9 years of age, respectively, so they still participate in this ritual. I’ve taken them egg hunting in the past and it’s quite a spectacle watching kids go absolutely crazy looking for plastic eggs with balls of sugar inside. And then I remember I was one of them not too long ago.
Both kids are very well-mannered and quite fun to be around and, like my full sister and I, are already noticeably different. Gabby is wonderfully girly and a ham. She’s getting to the age where she tries to emulate the speech of what seems “cool” for her age. Think Disney channel speak. Izzy, on the other hand, even at the age of 3, already seems quite pensive. Her intensity is kind of scary sometimes, actually. [It’ll be very interesting to continue to watch how both of these gals develop personality-wise.]
This article’s focus is on Izzy, the youngest of the four of us.
For Easter, our grandparents took Gabby and Izzy to a local park, where they hold an annual egg hunt, one that Sally and I had participated in as wee little ones ourselves.
Gabby did fairly well. Apparently, parents acted as expected and scooped up swaths of eggs for their own children, leaving milder mannered kids like Gabby relatively short on eggs. She ended up happy with her loot, however, and had a great time.
Izzy had a different strategy. This girl had a foolproof plan. When the whistle sounded and the parents and kids stormed the field, she went straight for an egg she’d been eyeing before the hunt had started. She picked up the egg, which filled her tiny hand, and plopped it in her basket. And that was it.
She continued to hop and skip around the field, but did she pick up anymore of those goddamn eggs? No. No, she did not. And I am hella proud of her. Izzy had a kickass time collecting that single egg. She was something that we adults find elusive, almost mythical. She was happy, no – she was content.
That 3 year old psyche hasn’t been completely tainted with greed and gluttony quite yet. It doesn’t feel the need to devour everything in sight just because everyone else is doing so. She doesn’t have a hole in her heart to fill with ever-empty symbols of want and need. Sadly, she’ll learn these lessons soon enough, but for now, she’s content.
And we can learn from this. I can learn from this. Izzy’s attitude reminds me of a moment from Louis CK’s amazing show, Louie, in which one of his daughter’s becomes upset that her sister got something that she couldn’t get.
I remember as a child seeing other kids’ baskets overflowing with these magical eggs of candy and feeling bad, feeling jealous. Why did they have more than me? I like the eggs I have and this was exciting, but why couldn’t I have more eggs? As I grow older – which feels weird to say as I’m not even quite 23 yet – I realize more and more that the systems in place are largely unfair and there’s little we can do about it in the short run. And while working toward molding a world I would actually want my progeny to grow up in, I can also learn how to be more content with my surroundings as well.
This doesn’t have to be a sign of resignation. I can learn to be all right with what I have while working toward an ever more fulfilling life. I can take this one egg and think “Wow. What a cool fucking egg. I’m going to cherish this” while working on the foundations of my slowly growing empire. To hell with how supposedly successful other 22 year olds are and how great and amazing their lives look on Instagram. I’m living my life, not theirs. Theirs are already taken, to paraphrase Oscar Wilde.
All my sisters Rachmani-my-socks-off. We’re all so different in our temperaments, so we can teach one another so much. And this week, I learned a lesson in contentment from a 3 year old.
Happy belated Easter. How did you celebrate, if you celebrated? What are your views on Easter egg hunts? Have you ever learned a lesson from a sibling or another unexpected source? Leave or link to your stories in the comments below!
[Header image source: Pixabay]