You guys all know I’m not religious and I don’t believe in God. Therefore Easter really doesn’t have much meaning to me in its traditional form. But that doesn’t mean I won’t be passing down an Easter tradition to Will.
Sure I may not believe that a man was nailed to a cross, was buried and then rose from the dead a few days later. But let me tell you what I do believe in: multi-colored eggs, chocolate bunnies, Cadbury eggs and jellybeans! After all, that’s what Easter is really about.
I have no idea how it started, but my immediate family fell into a bizarre tradition years and years ago. Its commonplace on Easter morning for parents to hide eggs, jellybeans or candy and have kids run through the house like crack addicts trying to find them all. We did the same thing at the Gouveia house, but with a twist.
I’m pleased to introduce you to the Full Contact Jellybean Hunt.
My family is competitive, and we’re weird. Not nearly content with simply collecting eggs and candy, my brother and I eventually decided to make it a competition. Who could capture the most pieces of candy on Easter morning? And of course, when competition is involved, things have a tendency to escalate fast and turn a little ugly. It probably started when the two of us were going for the same piece of candy at the same time. Maybe I hip-checked Nate. Then he probably shoved me back. But either way, we began fighting for those jellybeans like Rosie O’Donnell for the last piece of cake. And my father, who is still roughly 12 years old at heart, can’t resist competition either so he had to join in as well.
If you haven’t seen pictures of all of us, let’s just say that we’re not small people. So as this tradition carried on into our teenage years, it got a little frightening during the battle. We’d be tackling each other, throwing straight arms like NFL running backs and delivering forearms in our quest for victory.
Then one Easter it got dirty.
My brother was winning and I couldn’t have that. So I waited until the end of the hunt just before we were ready to count pieces of candy, and then I did what any rational adult would do: I ripped the bottom of his plastic bag open and began stealing all of his candy spilling out onto the floor.
This incident would alter the Full Contact Jellybean Hunt forever. After that, we all had to sit down together like it was the Geneva Convention and come up with hard and fast rules so we wouldn’t be reduced to lawlessness on one of holiest of Sundays.
Will is still too young to be a participant, but you can bet your ass that when he’s able, he’ll be mixing it up with us in the future. And don’t think anyone in my family is going to cut him any slack either. He’s a cute kid and we all love him, but there are lessons to be learned on Easter Sunday and those lessons include have no mercy and every man for himself.
Just like the good Lord intended!