Easter is always a wonderful celebration of chocolate and eggs, and chocolate eggs at the Keane house, and this year was no exception. Older sister Megan opted out of the egg hunting this year, but that still left three Keane siblings to run, shove, cross check each other in our quest for eggs of all varieties.
The hunt itself begins later and later every year to accommodate sleepy and/or hung over children. When I was 6, we hunted eggs at the crack of dawn, or whenever Dennis could be dragged out of bed. We could hardly sleep with all our thoughts of chocolate-covered marshmallow eggs. Upon waking up, each kid stumbled down the hall, eyes closed to prevent cheating, and huddled together in one bedroom. We waited there, trembling with excitement, trying to judge the earliest possible moment we could go in and wake up Mom and Dad that wouldn't result in disowning or dismemberment. This year, we got going at approximately 2:15 pm.
Mom and Dad, as always, take the role of Easter Bunny. The Keane children were never shocked by learning about the Easter Bunny's unreality, mainly because Mom and Dad didn't try that hard to disguise it. One year, Mom looked in her basket and commented that the "Easter Bunny" should have noticed that "Santa Claus" had given her the same paperback a few months earlier. Dad always offered hot/cold clues if we were stumped as to where the "Bunny" had hidden our baskets.
My dad tends to take responsibility for basket hiding. It's a tough job, mainly because there's only so many places that six odd-sized wicker baskets can be hidden. In practical terms, that means that every year, there's a basket hidden in the dryer. Dad also has trouble finding objects, especially if said objects are behind other objects, especially in the fridge. Many baskets are hidden with that principle in mind; that simply being behind something else provides camouflage galore. Fortunately for him, I also don't know how to find anything, and so I can be continually challenged by the usual hiding places of hall closet, laundry basket, other hall closet, linen closet, and dryer.
Mom took care of the eggs, both colored and chocolate. As we've gotten older, egg-dyeing has become less about pretty colors and more about writing slogans or messages on the eggs in crayon. This year there were timely political-themed eggs (a Bin Laden egg labeled "Harder to find than me!", and "Operation Eggy Freedom"), many references to Mom and Dad's Anglophilia, and the requisite "Sean and Kelly rule!" egg. The competition for the eggs is fierce, but there's an interesting dichotomy. Finding chocolate eggs is a plus, because you get to keep them, but finding the hard-boiled eggs earns you respect. Luckily, cross checking Molly into the wall as she's reaching for chocolate eggs helps both quests.
As previously detailed here in Zembla, my mom has a bad knee, and as a result, there were many eggs hidden on the ground, under blankets, and on bottom shelves - places that a gimpy 4'11" woman can reach with a minimum of effort. At one point I climbed on a stool to look for eggs, and my sister said, "Forget it - the Easter Bunny's got a bum wheel."
After a great deal of searching, we still hadn't found four of the original 36 eggs. So Kelly and I decided to interrogate our dog, Cassidy. We cornered her in the living room, and began firing questions.
"You saw the bunny hide the eggs, Cassidy."
"We need you to tell us where they are."
"Come on, Cassidy, play ball!"
"Maybe some time in the garage would refresh your memory..."
"Goddammit, Cassidy, quit holding out on us!"
It didn't work. The dog would not talk. It was too damn tough. Kelly eventually found the rest of the eggs without help, while Cassidy spent the rest of her day sleeping, eating grass, and throwing up in the backyard, just like Jesus intended.