Brrrr! It was cloudy, windy, and cold. It seems that this is almost always the weather on the first weekend of April. The only reason NYCity Mama would even know that is because she thinks about what they were about to do on this chilly morning, and wondered why she had never done it before, and she recalled that it was because it was usually a day like today.
This is a day when the old Mama would have completed rejected the idea of doing anything that would require hours spent outside. But this new Mama, the one who has a newfound appreciation for her home town, is a bit more adventurous and outgoing, and is not easily discouraged by things such as rain, or snow, or wind, or cold. She dressed the boys in layers, knowing that lately the weather is ever-changing and put their boots on to deal with all the mud she expected they would find.
She couldn’t help but be impressed with herself and her husband for motivating their crew to get dressed and venture out into the cold with them. No one fussed or questioned or complained, and thus making it out the door was an easy experience, even for a Saturday morning like this one.
They headed over to Central Park to take part in the Annual Community Easter Egg Hunt, sponsored by Gallery Church, which was taking place on 106th and Central Park West. Despite the cloudiness, Mama thought it was wonderful weather and couldn’t have been happier. She walked along Central Park West with a smile on her face, softly greeting parents and kids as they passed by (a very non-New Yorker habit she picked up from her years in Madison, WI) and had a skip in her step as she admired the architecture along the way while telling her boys what a great day it was. “It’s indy Mama!” exclaimed the 2 yo as they made their way to the entrance to the park, all 3 boys with Easter basket in hand (yes, even the 11 year old was motivated by Mama’s excitement this morning and didn’t groan when she handed him an Easter Egg basket, but instead took it willingly).
Some parents were leaving as they were arriving. It was all so organized. They registered their names, picked up some flyers handed to them, and made their way to the open field where the “egg hunt” was taking place. They separated the kids into two groups: 0 to 3 on one end and then another group for older kids on another.
It wasn’t much of a “hunt” really. More like a bunch of colorful plastic eggs scattered throughout a patch of open field. They had the kids aligned behind a rope, and then announced that they would start in 5 minutes, which in kid time is like an hour! Little kids started crying as they stared at the colorful eggs just laying there for grabs, wanting so badly to go for it while their parent held them back. Mama started laughing, maybe because this time it was only her 2 year old joining in on the crying, while the 3 year old was actually listening and trying his hardest to be patient. One kid did go rogue and started picking up eggs before his dad saw him and brought him back behind the line. It was so funny!
The minute the man yelled “Go!” all those kids ran like crazy towards the eggs! At first Mama’s boys weren’t sure how to react, so Mama cheered on, “Pick up the egg and put it in the basket!” “Go! Go! Go!” The insanity of watching her boys scrambling around for plastic eggs was so funny to Mama she started tearing she was laughing so hard. In the end, and it ended quickly and without injury which was impressive, her boys had actually done pretty well, except for her 11 year old on the other side, who apparently didn’t expect the aggressiveness he encountered from the other kids in his group.
Afterwards, they walked around and participated in the various activities going on, from egg decorating, to coloring Easter drawings, to playing with a bubble machine, and watching the other kids get their face painted (something her boys hate for themselves). Even her 11 year old was having a good time!
They started making their way out of their park, and onto the other things planned for the day, when they walked passed the field where the older kids’ egg hunt was about to take place again.
The lady yelled “Go!” and as Mama watched a bunch of kids racing to get the eggs, her 11 year old dashed into the crowd too, followed by the 3 year old! Like crazy people they made their way past others grabbing eggs like they were precious jewels and placing them in their basket. The 3 year old, not threatened by the larger size of the other kids, zig-zagged under them, between them and passed them, picking up eggs with lightening speed! Mama meant to tell them to come back, to stop because they already had their turn, but the sight was beyond hysterical, she couldn’t muster the words.
When it was all over, her 11 year old felt vindicated as he had managed to collect more eggs this time around, and the 3 year old ran to his younger brother, who had been strapped in his stroller, and started placing eggs in his basket too. It was so sweet, and kind, and unselfish, Mama couldn’t help but feel proud.
They decided to take a short stroll across the park before leaving. It was a beautiful day to walk around. Quiet, peaceful, and despite the lack of sunshine, the area just radiated beauty. It was a wonderful way to start their day before moving on to their next adventure, over the Triboro Bridge (recently renamed Robert F. Kennedy Bridge), towards Queens.
To be continued: Petey’s Burger/Astoria Park, Astoria, Queens, NY
If you missed the Easter Festivities this weekend, don’t fret! Here is a list of FREE family friendly events going on next Saturday, April 11, 2009!
*Crotona Park Easter Event
Crotona Park Tennis House (Crotona Avenue between Claremont Parkway and Crotona Park North)
1:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.
*Other events taking place at a NYC Park near you!
*Annual Easter Egg Hunt at Pierrepont Park and Playground
Br0oklyn Heights, Brooklyn
10:00 am sharp
Scholastic Store in Soho 557 Broadway New York, NY 10012 3:00 p.m. Ages 3-up