I am going to precede this journal with yet another childhood memory. This little digression is absolutely necessary in order for all of you to understand the complete absurdity of what happened to me during week 28.
Easter in my house is characterized by three household events: the Bunny Rabbit cake, the coloring of the Easter eggs, and the Easter egg hunt. Making the rabbit-shaped cake and dying the eggs are events filled with smiles, mess, and family togetherness, complete with all of those warm and gooey Kodak moments. The egg hunt, on the other hand, has made a complete evolution over the years. What once involved three giggling sisters frolicking through a sunshiny yard with wicker baskets collecting pastel eggs now has become and all-out, go-for-what-you-know, fight until the death, thug fest. This transgression is to be blamed entirely on the one and only Mommy Lady.
When my sisters Chanel and Dani were 13 and 9 respectively and I was 17, Mommy decided to throw a curve into the yearly egg hunt. No longer would she hide the eggs we colored, but she had the grand idea of hiding day-glow plastic eggs. The twist was that inside the eggs we would find anything from a few jellybeans to the more coveted Hershey's Hugs, to certificates for "dinner and a movie" with Mommy. What brought out the belligerence was (cha-ching) MONEY. Most of the "money" eggs contained one-dollar bills, but there were some fives and tens, and a couple of twenties. What made us lose all traces of sanity was the "Big Money" egg. Fifty-dollar bill! Fifty-dollar bill! The wicker baskets were traded for pillowcases and shopping bags. That way, we could swing our bags and use them as weapons without losing our eggs. It didn't matter who saw the eggs first, but who bagged them first. That, in turn, meant that if you saw someone running for an egg, you could bum rush them to the ground NFL linebacker-style and grab the egg for yourself.
To up the stakes even more, the competition was increased when Mommy decided to invite the kids on our street to join in. So there we were -- ten kids ranging in age from seven to seventeen. We were armed with an assortment of bags, teeth bared, and eyes squinted with the gleam of competition and cash in our eyes. We foamed at the mouth and growled. We stretched like Olympic track stars and flexed our muscles like WWF wrestlers. We all waited tensed and ready for war while listening for Mommy to give the signal to go. While I waited in that calm before the storm, I thought to myself, "The Big Money egg is MINE. I'm the oldest one out here. I've got the strength, the endurance, and an age advantage over all of these little midgets. The money is mine!" Mom yelled, "GO!" and we were off. We ran; we growled; we searched in obscure places. We tackled each other and became bloodthirsty, Silence of the Lambs-type maniacs. The only rule was that we couldn't open any of the eggs until they were all found, and when it was that time, I just knew that I was going to rack up with finding a lot of money eggs. Can you imagine how appalled I was when I ended up with a plethora of jellybeans, a few Hershey's, and just two dollar bills! As much as I had overestimated my prowess and age advantage, I also overestimated my skills at being observant. My sister Chanel, on the other hand, laughed deliriously as she totaled up $64, including the Big Money egg. Even Danielle, the little snot, found $23 and the "dinner and a movie" certificate. Boy, did I feel like a chump. It was funny, though, and I immediately became the butt of a week's worth of jokes. Each year after that was worse; Dani and Chanel continued to find the money eggs, and was repeatedly left with a couple of bucks and a week of being cracked on.
Now that I am finally finished with that embarrassing confession, I can now tell you what happened to me this week. It happened at work on the Friday before Easter. It was a teacher-workday, which translates to "dress-like-a-bum-enjoy-the-day-without-the-kids-and-pretend-to-work" day. For the first half of the day, we were supposed to work in our classrooms, but we ended up sitting around chatting as is the tradition on "workdays." Then we all had a faculty meeting in the cafeteria, immediately followed by a spectacular lunch sponsored by the PTO. As we were finishing lunch, the principal announced that she and the other administrators hid eggs for us to find. The eggs were either filled with candy, certificates for various prizes, and there was even a "Golden Egg" that contained a check for fifty dollars! The mention of money immediately got the attention of the few teachers who thought that they were "too old" for such childish follies. The eggs were hidden everywhere except for the gym, the main office, the cafeteria, and inside individual classrooms. That still left a lot of ground to cover, and we all crowded the cafeteria doors waiting for the principal to tell us to start. When the principal yelled for us to go, we all flooded into the main building, pushing and shoving like the very students we taught. And here's little me, a 5'2" shrimp with a huge belly dressed in maternity overall shorts, huffing and puffing with the audacity to run people down to get eggs. All the while in my head I repeated the phrase, "I will be observant," over and over like it was some kind of sacred mantra. I found three in a hallway and a couple in the girl's bathroom on the eighth grade hallway, and then I made my way into the teacher's lounge. I found eggs in the paper tray of one of the copiers; one perched on the television, and another in a vending machine. Then I wobbled to the refrigerator and searched every nook and cranny there and in the freezer. When I didn't find anything, I went to look in the staff bathrooms, female and male. Just as I was picking up an egg I found on the soap dish in the men's room, I heard someone yelling, "I FOUND IT! I FOUND THE GOLDEN EGG!" I dashed back into the lounge to find my college buddy and fellow teacher removing the egg from a corner in the freezer! My best buddy, Danielle Black, and I whipped our heads toward each other and exclaimed in unison, "YOU WERE/ I WAS JUST IN THERE!" Could I possibly be a bigger idiot? I can't blame that vulgar display of absurdity on DIPS because of the precedence I had previously set for myself. All I could do was stand there and crack up laughing. Then the twins started bumping around as if to say, "Geez, Mom, what a dork." Easter egg hunts are just not my thing!
After the excitement was over, Danielle and I went back to my classroom and continued to "work" by watching "A Baby Story." About halfway through the program, there was an announcement for Danielle to go to Mrs. Bateman's room. She asked me to tag along, and with nothing better to do I went. As soon as we walked into Bateman's room, all I heard was "SURPRISE!" They scared me so much that I literally thought that I was going to pee on myself. My first reaction was to squeeze my thighs together and grab the underside of my belly in effort to lift the twins off of my battered bladder. Everyone laughed, and I did too because I could only imagine how dumb I must have looked. Pink and blue was everywhere, and I was humbled at the huge stack of gifts piled on some desks. The twins and I got so much stuff! We were given the cutest matching outfits, blankets, a monitor, diapers and wipes (yes!), photo albums, toys, diaper bags, baby-proofing devices, grooming utensils, a ton of pacifiers, and other various items. Someone even thought to give me two disposable cameras for the births and first few days home! I was honored, and truly grateful for everything that we received.
Well, that's it for week 28, and if I am ever going to get caught up with these journals I'll have to quit being so long-winded! I guess I just want to capture as much as I can, even if that includes advertising my lack of brains!
Kym, Kyra, and Jaiden