Every once in a while, I want to borrow a small child. I don’t need to keep them — I already have three of my own.
I just need a little one for special occasions. Like when I’m at a parade and really want the Tootsie Rolls that come raining down at my feet.
Or when I’m at Disney World and want to meet the princesses. Sure, I could go up and say hello on my own, but it looks a lot less needy when you have a 3-year-old with you.
Lately I’m thinking I need to borrow a small child because I’m nostalgic about Easter.
The Easter Bunny still brings my kids baskets and hides them around the house, but the days of cute Easter dresses and little white patent shoes and community Easter egg hunts are gone.
Ahhh, the Easter egg hunts.
I have so many memories of egg hunts at churches and children’s museums and city parks that I’m starting to think we may have gone to numerous events each year. How can I possibly have that many sweet memories of my little ones toddling through the grass if we didn’t do seven or eight egg hunts a year?
I’ll tell you how. Kindness.
Each event was lovingly produced by many generous hands with the simple goal of bringing joy to children. That sort of atmosphere always seemed to brush off on the kids.
Little acts of kindness could be found hiding behind every cluster of grass, as colorful as the Easter eggs themselves. Those sorts of memories stick with us.
Like this one sent in by Bob Gonzalez:
“I was with my granddaughter for an Easter egg hunt in a local park with hundreds of kids a few years ago. She was probably 6 years old.
"She was done and had about a half a basket of eggs. We were walking back to the car and saw a mother with a much younger child crying because she didn’t get any eggs.
"My granddaughter went over to her and gave her eggs from her basket.
"I told her that was a very nice thing to do and she said it made her feel real good.
"Sometimes I think kids are kinder and more intuitive than adults give them credit for."
Maybe my time is up. Maybe I’m not meant to be the mom who points out the teal egg tucked under a bench for her small child. Maybe it’s my turn to create the magic for other families.
But before I do that, I just want to remind both of us that what we look for is what we’ll see. It’s true — both in life and in Easter egg hunts.
As you go about your springtime adventures, look for the gems that are hidden in each day. The genuine smile from a passerby, the tiny little blooms peeking out after a long winter, or the “just because” card that shows up in your mailbox.
Let’s find those sorts of Easter eggs and then let’s share them with others.
Please continue to share your stories of kindness with me at email@example.com.
Nicole J. Phillips, a former Fargo television anchor, is a speaker, author and host of The Kindness Podcast. She lives in Aberdeen, S.D., with her three children and her husband, Saul Phillips, the head men's basketball coach at Northern State University. You can visit Nicole at nicolejphillips.com.