Saturday, March 22, 2008

Regarding the Easter Bunny

This story is from last year, but I think it deserves a repeat. Happy Easter, everyone!

Growing up we were always away on vacation for Easter, and for one reason or another The Bunny didn't make it to Florida. There was a feeble attempt at hiding eggs for my cousins and I one year early on, but an egg that was nestled in the cushions of the couch at our rental house was sat upon, thereby marking the end of that ritual. The only traditions left were ham, bloody mary's, and my grandmother's story about how, as a kid, she ate an entire chocolate bunny and then threw up which, she believed, was her punishment for lying to her mother about what happened to the candy.

My daughter is two this year, and my mother, at whose house we are staying at for Easter, has decided this is the year to introduce her to The Bunny. Because I am mother to a why-year-old, I have been forced to examine the finer nuances of spring's favorite mascot.

I had heard my mother casually throwing around the term "Easter Bunny" in front of Ella, but I curious about what my daughter took away from their conversations. On the way home from a quick trip to my brother's house yesterday I decided to find out.

"Hey buddy, who's going to come to Nana Mimi's house tomorrow if you're good?" I led.

"The Easter Bunny!" was her reply. "Mommy and the Easter Bunny are my best friends," she added.

"What's the Easter Bunny going to do?" I further probed.

"Play ring around the rosy with me and then I will give him a hug and share my toys with him because the Easter Bunny loves toys."

Clearly I wasn't asking the right questions about his functionality.

"But what about the eggs you made?" I tried

"I think the Easter Bunny is going to love my eggs and eat them all up and he'll be so happy because I love him."

"He's going to eat the eggs?" That certainly made more sense than hide them from her.

"Yes. I love the Easter Bunny. He's my best friend."

That was fast. She didn't even know who the Easter Bunny was until a few days ago.

"He's my best and best and best friend," she further clarified.

"What does the Easter Bunny look like?" I asked as we pulled into the driveway.

"He looks like a bunny or something."

Good enough for me.

Before Ella went to bed last night my mom had her set a giant bowl of colored eggs in the middle of the living room floor. Unlike the milk and cookies which at least provide Santa sustenance for the tasks ahead, I'm still not sure of the exact purpose of this offering. I listened as my mom reassured my daughter the Easter Bunny would come to her house while Ella was sleeping and, for some undisclosed reason, hide these pastel hunks of hard boiled protein throughout the house. Why and how he would do such a thing was undisclosed, yet unquestioned by my two-year-old. I've had twenty-five more years of experience with how the world works, though, and I had some questions of my own. I'm interested in how this rabbit gets into the house so as to protect my home from subsequent rodent invasions. Does he burrow? Break a window? Or simply walk through the front door? I'm fascinated, but my mother shoots me the shut-up eye when I ask for details, so I must accept the fact that I exchanged the childhood magic of The Bunny for some SPF 50 and sand in my crack.


In an hour we'll haul my daughter, along with a forty pound bag of distractions, to church, where I'll spend most of the time coaxing her to quietly color, eat snacks, and look at books so as not to distract others. If she's good, The Bunny might hide hard boiled eggs from her.

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