Monday, April 13, 2009

And they're off...

Yesterday morning in the Minton Stable Garden I experienced the annual Running of the Kids.  For the past four years, two MSG families with six children between them have organized the Easter Egg Hunt, stuffing plastic eggs with jellybeans, M & Ms, and other goodies, and stashing them in around garden plots and common areas behind the garden gate in preparation.

The hunting ground was off-limits until around 9:30 when Hannah, one of the organizers, called all families to the entrance near Dungarven Road to explain the rules, mainly 1) The plot areas are for children under five, while older kids should confine their search to the more challenging wildflower and native plantings area in the corner of the property by Williams Street, and 2) when the hunt is over, everyone should be willing to share their surplus so all end up with the same amount of eggs.

Then the gate was opened, and kids fanned out in all directions, scooping up eggs tucked away in garden plots, hidden next to rocks, and nestled in tree branches and other odd places.  The limited flora at this stage of the growing season worked in everyone's favor.  Some older kids learned the hard way that the stinging nettles were already claiming the edges of the property, an unintentional consequence.  A few who had already amassed a full basket re-hid a few eggs so the younger could gain more satisfaction.

Within about fifteen minutes, all of the 300+ eggs had been found, and Hannah reconvened the crowd to count and share, so each child could leave with a basket of a dozen eggs.  Then we adults lingered, drinking coffee, chatting, and meeting new neighbors while our kids went to work maintaining their sugar highs.  As we headed out, many of us made sure to track down Allison and Hannah to thank them for taking time from their busy schedules to maintain this community-building tradition.

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