Disclaimer: The Sentinel is the property of Pet Fly.

Jimmy and the Easter Eggs



Grace Ellison shut the door of the station wagon. "Jimmy, you wait..." But before she could finish the sentence he had already crossed the Cedar Valley School's parking lot and joined a group of his kindergarten classmates and smaller pre-school children going inside.

She sighed softly, and followed, joining the other mothers. She really didn't know any of them well, just from the school and the PTA. And Gloria belonged to their club; she and William had played golf with Tim and Gloria once. The teacher and the president of the PTA, who arranged these extra activities, explained the rules of the egg hunt and everyone admired the special gift basket that was the grand prize. Jimmy had won last year, his first year at the school. He'd ended up sharing the candy with his friends, complaining that it was too sweet and made him sick to his stomach. But he'd named the stuffed rabbit Thumper and took it to bed with him, along with his old Bwear Bear.

Small plastic buckets were handed out, the PTA president counted down, and let the children out onto the playground. The mothers, armed with cameras, followed.

Grace found herself a bench with a view and sat. She was so tired all the time. Maybe because of the new baby. She didn't remember being this tired when she was carrying Jimmy, but she was younger then, and didn't already have a small child to care for. Ah well... Will had promised that with his next promotion and raise they could get someone in part time to help with the housework and Jimmy and little Elizabeth-or-Steven.

She took pictures, knowing Will would want to see them since he couldn't be here. Sometimes it seemed like her husband was watching their son grow up in photographs she'd taken. Time lapse parenting. She understood about the cutthroat world of corporate politics, why the board had to see Will as a team player if he was going to get anywhere. That was why he worked late, nights and weekends. If she was a suspicious woman, and Will had a pretty secretary, she might have begun to worry. Ambition, not infidelity. But Will was missing out on so much...

Watching the children hunt for eggs, she noticed something, and looked around uncertainly to see if anyone else noticed. The other children were looking for Easter eggs. Jimmy moved purposefully, moving from one hiding place to the next, filling his bucket.

No one else seemed to notice it as out of the ordinary. And the eggs weren't very well hidden, after all. She relaxed, taking plenty of pictures, and enjoying the happy laughter of the children and the warm spring air. Frowned again as she saw Jimmy pick up a golden plastic egg from behind the trunk of a tree, and put it back down again. He passed a little red-haired girl in a blue jumper, they talked, Jimmy pointing back at the tree. The girl squealed happily as she found the gold egg.

Whoever found the gold egg won the grand prize basket. Inside the egg was a certificate from the Easter Bunny with a space for the child's name. They all trooped into the school cafeteria and applauded as the little girl was announced the winner, and there was punch and carrot cake, and little bags of candy for the rest of the children so they wouldn't feel left out.

Grace made small talk with the other mothers. What a handful the children were at this age. Grocery prices. Husbands who didn't have a clue. A new hairdresser downtown. A sale. And before too long, the party was breaking up. Jimmy said goodbye to his friends, and Grace made sure his seatbelt was fastened before starting the car.

"Did you have fun today, Jimmy?"

"Uh-huh." He had already opened his candy bag and was rooting through the treats.

"You sure found a lot of eggs."

"It's easy."

It was still early afternoon, if she parked Jimmy in front of the TV, maybe there was a western or one of those old John Wayne movies he liked, she could still do the laundry and ironing before starting dinner. There was that casserole recipe she wanted to try. Between Jimmy's haul and the eggs she'd dyed at home she'd have to make devilled eggs or something soon.

"It's easy finding the eggs?"

"Itsa baby game. They smell eggy. And like salad."

"They smell like egg salad, huh? I saw you let the little girl get the gold egg after you found it first. That was a sweet thing to do."

Jimmy shrugged. "I got the basket last year. S'isn't fair unless everybody gets a turn."

She risked taking a hand off the wheel to ruffle her son's dark hair. Jimmy was such a special little boy.

~ End ~

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Page last updated 8/15/03.