Saturday, April 15, 2023

Easter Egg Hunt

I feel like we're very much in the minority of the population, but we're still just dipping our toes back into society because even if we end emergency measures, even if we announce "mission accomplished" and claim the pandemic is over, the truth of the matter is that COVID is the third leading cause of death in the United States and while we the strains we're dealing with are less deadly—whether due to vaccination, natural immunity, and better treatment due to targeted medications, or simply less vicious viruses—people are still getting very sick.

We would still like to avoid getting sick (especially as sick as we were last year) and so we're still trying to limit our exposure (especially indoors). And we're still wearing our "silly" masks (as someone called my mask not too long ago—"Oh, you're still wearing those silly masks?"). And we're still just...trying to be careful...

But also it's been years of having essentially no contact with anyone and I'm tired. So we're slowly dipping our toes into society because we have to learn to live with COVID. Isn't that a line we've heard over and over again? It's not going away any time soon, is it? So we must learn to live with it. 

I think that learning to live with COVID means the opposite of going back to the way things were but instead means moving forward in new ways. So we're not willing to give up our masks and personal air purifiers in venues that haven't improved their own ventilation systems since COVID's arrival. And we're encouraging gatherings to be held outdoors, when possible, and are trying to support those activities.

Rachel and Miriam went to their first multi-stake dance this evening. It was a "food truck evening" and was held outside! They had lights and speakers, an area to dance, volley ball games, and—of course—food trucks. Everyone had a lot of fun...outside.

The girls learned a line dance (this one) to Cotton Eye Joe (by the Rednex).

I can't believe they're still playing that at stake dances. And yet I can...because it's a great dancing song.

We didn't do that line dance to Cotton Eye Joe when I was going to the dances (though I think they did in Utah, technically, but I hardly count those dances because...they just weren't as cool as the Calgary tri-stake dances). Ours was...kickier...if we did one (like this one). But mostly I remember free-styling polka-like moves.

At any rate, I'm glad kids are still dancing to it. 

I mean, we dance to it at our house sometimes. But I'm glad that kids are still dancing to it outside of our house. 

I'm not sure when they'll get to go to a dance again, though, because an indoor dance sounds...super soupy. Just inhaling everyone else's exhales. No thanks. 

Anyway, the primary Easter egg hunt was outdoors and was their first outdoor activity all year, so I decided we'd show (especially since we'd RSVP'd). I was hesitant after that terrible night with Phoebe, but...she's really pretty great at social distancing...and really was just choking on snot...that wasn't brought on by we went. 

Allow me to demonstrate how well she can social distance:

There were only four junior primary children there (my children were 2/4 (or 1/2) of those children), so Phoebe had this whole area of the field to herself.

Altogether, my primary children (including Phoebe who will be entering nursery in a month) represented 4/11 primary children present at the start of the activity. That is approximately 1/3 of the children there. By the end of the activity my children represented 4/16 which is fully 1/4 of the children present. 

In my opinion, that is a sizable proportion of the primary population. So it boggles my mind that they have been unsupportive about organizing activities outdoors so that my children can attend. Benjamin and Zoë have been unable to go to a single "activity days" activity because they've refused to move any activity outside. Not even when the weather is perfect. Not even this last week's "obstacle extravaganza." I just feel like...if they want my kids to come they know...attempt something outside. 

So—here!—they attempted something outside. And we came. And everyone had a great time from what I could see. In spite of the...bugs and breeze...or because of the bugs and breeze. I'm not sure.

Here's Alexander picking up some eggs:

Here he is sharing a pink egg with Phoebe:

Poor little baby was super grumpy (can't imagine why) and was acting like she was picking up eggs out of obligation rather than privilege. Like, "Seriously? The grown ups threw all these eggs around and now they're making me pick them up? Some game."

But she cheered up as the morning progressed. Or as she remembered that the eggs have candy inside of them. Either way.

"Look at all my eggs, Mommy!"

Here's Alexander hunting through the bushes with a little primary friend:

And here's Benjamin over on the senior primary side of things:

And Zoë:

And Miriam, who didn't hunt for eggs, but who walked around and visited with her peers who'd showed up to cheer their younger siblings on in the egg hunt.

And back to the babies...

Phoebe followed me the whole way around the corner to check on the big kids. "Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom. You're leaving me behind. Mom, Mom, Mom..." She felt much better when I told her I was all hers once again. She wanted to show me these two pink eggs that she'd found. She was really quite excited about them...but looks grumpy...because we both just needed to go home for a nap.

Here's Alexander, much happier with his haul (he found a golden egg, which he was super excited about; there was nothing special inside but it was gold and that was exciting):

Here's Phoebe dumping her eggs out for the umpteenth time:

Here are these two who've draped their gathering bags around their necks like feed bags or something (that way they can use two hands to pick up eggs!):

The kids had a great time. And I want them to keep having great times like this. But I just...wish that our community could also seek to understand our approach to dealing with COVID. It simply feels like they aren't trying. 

For example, our neighbour up the street sprinted down our driveway mere minutes after we got home and pounded on the front door. He wanted to know if Benjamin and Zoë could go with him and his mom and his sister to go on a hike through the woods and play in the creek at some nearby park. (Meanwhile his mom was texting me to verify the invitation). So Benjamin and Zoë scrambled to get ready and then sprinted back up the street to go off with their friends. 

I reminded them to grab masks to wear in the car. 

"We'll also ask if we can have the windows down, for better ventilation!" Benjamin said. 

"You can ask," I said. "But it's really the driver's preference, so if she says no, that's okay. Just make sure to wear your masks. It's a short drive. It'll be fine."

But this sweet mom texted me: "Got your kids. They're all buckled in. Windows open for extra ventilation. I'll let you know when we're heading out."

I get no "you guys are crazy to keep up this level of vigilance" vibe from her. It's all "my kids like to play with your kids and I understand your concerns about COVID so I'm going to do what I can to help them continue playing together." 

Not that I ask for anything unreasonable (I don't think). We're just...not okay with sharing oxygen yet. So the kids play outside a lot. And this family tries to include my kids in fresh-air activities. And I appreciate that.

End rant.


  1. I'm glad y'all were finally able to do something with your church. Looks fun!

  2. Yes that version of choreography that they did is pretty tame!