Fayetteville, N.C. — The email came in just like it does every other year around this time: Would our family be attending the company Easter egg hunt/celebration?
Capitol Broadcasting puts on a wonderful event each year for employees with families, but we haven’t been able to go for several years due to scheduling conflicts. This year, however, looked clear, and I was excited when I forwarded the email to my husband with a “yes?” at the top. I thought it would be so fun to take the kids to a party that we hadn’t been able to make in quite some time.
I wasn’t prepared for my husband’s reply.
“Aren’t the kids a little too old for this?”
I deflated like a bunny balloon. Could this be? Was it possible that, when I wasn’t looking, my kids had aged out of Easter egg hunts?
I started a mental inventory, trying to recall the last time I dressed the kids up and sent them off with baskets in search for Easter treats.
The annual hunt at their Nana and Papa’s house didn’t count, I decided. The college-aged grandkids still took part with glee. Searching my memories, I realized it had indeed been at least three years since we’d been to the Easter egg hunt at church. There, they divided the kids up by age so that the little ones had a fighting chance. My daughter is now 10. Yep, probably too old.
Our company party didn’t specify an age limit, and I’m sure they would have welcomed us warmly. But would my kids want to go? I could make them, but would that really be fun, for anyone?
Wrestling with these questions just made me sad.
This is the beginning, isn’t it? Slowly but surely, we’re going to start losing all of those cherished events that come immediately to mind when thinking of raising your kids: No more sitting on Santa’s lap, too old for the children’s museum, goodbye pumpkin patch.
Sure, we’re creating new memories and traditions every day, but it still makes me tear up to think there are some things we have simply outgrown. Whether I’m ready or not.
In the end, the question was answered for me: A make-up soccer game had to be played at the same time as the company Easter celebration. Even the annual Easter egg hunt at Nana and Papa’s had to be called off due to illness. We had a wonderful celebration at church, and afterwards, an engaging conversation with our children about the true meaning of the holiday, something that would have been impossible when our kids were younger.
But I’ll admit … I did sneak off later in the afternoon to look at photos of Easters past. And I only cried a little bit.
Jennifer is a mom of two and WRAL-TV assignment editor in Fayetteville. Her food obsession memoir, “Designated Fat Girl,” came out in 2010. Read more about Jennifer and her book on her website. Find her here on Go Ask Mom on Tuesdays.