Family traditions have been very important to my two youngest children over the years. They have enjoyed maintaining them and tweaking them a little as they grow older.
I can't really remember when we started the tradition of an egg hunt in our home, but I think it may have been after Boykin was born. I didn't go in for encouraging the Easter Bunny, but somehow The Girl took this myth on board. Consequently, a few years ago, I was very much surprised by her disappointment when I let slip that I laid the clues for the Easter egg hunt. Boykin, on the other hand, has never believed in the Easter Bunny and has always enjoyed the egg hunt just as much as his sister.
My mum still does an egg hunt every year for her grandchildren, very similar to the ones she made for me and my younger brothers - albeit with more eggs. It is noisy joyful mayhem. They all love it and very much look forward to it, even though there were often tears when they were younger when some cousins got quite a few more eggs than others. They have had to learn to share their winnings over the years.
Because there is a four year age gap between Boykin and The Girl, I wanted to make it fairer. I had to level the playing field somewhat so that one (The Girl) wouldn't end up with loads more eggs than the other (Boykin). So, I came up with the idea of cutting egg shapes out of cardboard and drawing pictures of the places where the eggs were hidden. Drawing meant that no-one had to be able to read, and the rough sketches meant that they were both as likely to be able to guess. At each destination, there were an equal number of small eggs to be shared and a new clue which they had to work together to solve. The hunt ended with a large egg each and quite often a present too. (Usually a book, sometimes audio books or CDs, but one year I gave them toothbrush sets). The whole Easter morning egg hunt event became a much more co-operative rather than competitive celebration.
It's been a good tradition and they have both enjoyed it.
This year, however, there's been a slight change. The Girl is growing up. She's a teenager and doesn't always want to join in like she used to do. She is, however, really good at adding a certain flourish to the traditions in our home. This year, she took responsibility for setting the egg hunt. She drew pictures and wrote riddles on her egg-shaped clues, hiding the eggs in new places as well as old, tried-and-tested ones from previous years.
On Easter morning, she presented both me and Boykin with a basket for our finds. She collected her own share of eggs along the way as well, but I really loved how she included me in the fun.
I had my own Easter egg stash for once - the first time since I was a kid:) Yummy!