The Communist Easter Egg Hunt & Family Dynamics

The Communist Easter Egg Hunt & Family Dynamics

As the economy gets worse and many families return to multi-generational households we must remember that successfully forming, blending and combining families and households requires more than love… it requires communication, cooperation, sensitivity and tolerance.  What does this have to do with a communist Easter egg hunt?

I’ve had a couple reminders  of these family-forming (and transforming) challenges recently thanks to my daughters.  If properly handled, the new blended or multi-generational (household) family offers many opportunities to meet or improve everyone’s situation and needs.

While my oldest daughter is considering moving her mother-in-law in and creating a multi-generational household with her new husband, my middle daughter is newly engaged and has already begun negotiations with her fiance on how they intend to raise their children…yeah… she’s much more mature than her dad was at that age.

I recently caught a snippet of conversation between two of my daughters that caught my ear… “they only do communist Easter egg hunts…”  As you can imagine this strange statement piqued my interest so I asked my daughter what a communist Easter egg hunt is…

Communist Easter / Capitalist EasterBackground

As I mentioned, middle daughter is engaged to marry a young man of whom I think very highly.  He’s the middle of three boys and daughter #2 is the middle of three girls.  Both are very family-oriented and are slaves to their own sense of family traditions.  Unfortunately, they’re going to be faced with all the challenges of a mixed marriage.  Future son-in-law is the son of a mother who’s a highly educated (PHD) New York liberal and my wife was raised to be an Ozark hillbilly.  Luckily both fathers are military men which gives them much more in common than just beautiful, loving mothers with strong convictions.

So, what kind of prenuptial negotiations do the children of a New York liberal and a libertarian redneck enter into with over a year to go before the big day?  Why, they negotiate over what type of Easter egg hunts future children born to the marriage will have, of course.

Additional Background

Our three daughters are eight years apart.  That’s a huge age difference for young children engaged in activities together…especially a competitive activity like hunting Easter eggs.  I’d like to tell you that we made a conscious decision to structure hunts that put our girls into friendly competition knowing that the older two wouldn’t roll-over their baby sister(s)…but that is just the way it turned out.  Our girls learned that they had to scramble to get their share of the hunt…but they also learned to help and share with their younger family members (sisters, cousins, etc.).  That’s our tradition…maybe we should call it the ‘capitalist Easter egg hunt.’

My future son-in-law’s family, on the other hand, held what my daughter lovingly calls the Communist Easter Egg Hunt.’  In a communist Easter egg hunt there are an equal numbers of eggs with contents of equivalent value and a separate color assigned to each child.  Children are only allowed to hunt for their assigned color so that an equal outcome is assured to all, well before the hunt even starts.

Contrast

Essentially, the Jackson family’s capitalist Easter egg hunt guarantees equality of opportunity where each child has the opportunity to earn as big of a share of the booty as their physical abilities,  aggressiveness, wits and strategies (we’ve seen alliances struck and dissolved that would be the envy of an old world monarch) will allow.  I almost forgot to mention that, as parents and aunts/uncles, we do cheat a bit as well– coaching the youngest or giving him/her a head start–but that is merely an example of a little market manipulation which they’ll undoubtedly experience when they go out into the world…at least now they’ll know how to recognize it.

On the other hand, the communist Easter egg hunt guarantees equality of outcome regardless of skills, abilities, or drive of the participants.  I’ve never seen a communist Easter egg hunt, but I can picture the participants quietly walking around gathering their treasure rather than yelling for glee and running from place to place to beat their competition to the next egg.

Final Thoughts & Resolution

As I mentioned at the outset, a successful family and household requires more than love–it requires communication, cooperation, sensitivity and tolerance.  Whether you’re getting married, moving in with an in-law or taking in your children and grandchildren, remember that the family is not just the most important institution within but it is also the building block of society.  It seems my daughter and future son-in-law have a head start on communication…let’s just hope they cover their other bases equally well and aren’t opposed to a multi-generational household if my wife and I ever need shelter from the storm… financial, political or otherwise.

So how did the kids resolve their Easter egg hunt dilemma?  The notional future Jackson grandkids will get to enjoy two Easter egg hunts each spring …the right one and the left…er communist one!

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