First off, let me preface this post with the following:
I don’t care what traditions your family has for various holidays. I mean, I care in that I believe they are important to you, and I may think them interesting, but I don’t feel like imposing my family traditions on your family, and really would resent you doing that to me. Do not take anything in this post to imply that what my family does is what your family should be doing.
When my husband and I were children, we thought that a large, furry animal with long ears filled our Easter baskets with chocolate and marshmallow chicks. Somehow we managed to discover “the truth” and neither of us was psychologically damaged in the process. However, I could not keep a straight face and tell my own little kids this same tale. I was not personally attached to the Easter Bunny, and, in fact, I, as an adult, am a bit frightened at the thought of a large rabbit hopping around…have you seen The Curse of the Were-Rabbit? Scary stuff.
Side notes: the Tooth Fairy does happen to stop by here every so often and generally leaves a whole QUARTER (perhaps we have the cheapest Tooth Fairy in the whole world?). And Saint Nicholas (aka Santa Claus) visits us, not once, but TWICE a year (December 6th AND December 25th). I don’t see that either of these visitors has anything to do with each other (one being wholly secular and the other being a saint), and I don’t think either has any bearing on the Easter Bunny legend.
I do think that the whole Easter Bunny thing is quite a stretch. I’ve read the stories, folks, and I still don’t see what the little rabbit has to do with the Resurrection. I just don’t get it, and I don’t want to get it. I’m truly happy in my ignorance. Blissful, even.
I have never mentioned the Easter Bunny to my kids. I’ve never told them he/she/it was coming. We don’t go to the mall where he/she/it sits and has children tell him/her/it I don’t know what…whether they prefer the yellow chicks or the pink bunnies? Nonetheless, my cloistered, sheltered, unsocialized, homeschooled children know all about the Easter Bunny.
Tonight at dinner, they were talking about this creature. I ignored them, as I do whenever they discuss kid stuff. At one point, Billy asked me if I had ever seen the Easter Bunny, and I said that I had not. Katie tried to ask me another question, but I told her I knew nothing about the Easter Bunny. Finally, though, Fritz said that he knew who the Easter Bunny was – mom and dad.
“Aren’t you guys the ones who hide the eggs?” he demanded.
“Of course we are,” I replied. “I never told you that the Easter Bunny did.”
“And aren’t you the ones who put candy in our baskets?”
“Yes, of course.”
“Then you’re the Easter Bunny!”
“I am definitely not the Easter Bunny.”
And that was that. There were no shocked faces, no tears, and no more questions. They returned to their discussion about what the Easter Bunny looks like and how he/she/it occupies his/her/its time. Katie continues to hop around pretending to be a large furry animal and wondering how to make rabbit noises. And I continue to marvel at where these kids have gotten such a wealth of knowledge.
And I think I hear the death knoll for both the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus. I don’t care too much about the tooth thief. But that other guy…he’s a big deal. I think next autumn, Fritz and I will need to have a private chat about public speculations.