I sense my second grader is about to blow the roof off the whole imaginary-characters-that-accompany-childhood thing. The culprit: The Easter Bunny.
I’m generally a good accomplice to the imaginary harbingers of holidays. For example, I can completely keep track of the tooth fairy. Kid loses a tooth; fairy shows up & gives some coinage. Why does every kid get different amounts of money (or some kids even presents)? In our house the reason is because each family is assigned a specific “Tooth Fairy” who takes care of all your dental disposal needs. The kid next door gets coloring books and a $10 bill? That’s because they have a different (and far more generous) fairy than we do.
Santa is totally safe, too. In our family, Santa drops down the chimney each December 25 to help us celebrate a Very Special Birthday. He brings each kid 3 presents, because – well hey, if it was good enough for the Wise Men, it’s good enough for us.
Even the leprechaun is just hiding his gold coins at the end of the rainbow and having fun wreaking havoc and causing mischief.
But darn it, I simply cannot keep my Easter Bunny mythology straight. It goes something like this:
Me: We’re gonna hide eggs for Jesus!
Me: It’s okay, there’s a bunny. And candy!
I just don’t know how to make a reasonable sounding argument that connects pastel-colored chicken eggs, fake grass in a woven basket, candy … and a huge, man-sized rabbit. The whole series of events is so bizarre that any attempt I make is half-hearted at best.
Which brings us to my current dilemma. Emma is just at the age where this mammoth gap in reasoning is going to bite me in the ass. She’s now old enough where the candy isn’t enough of a distraction to stop the questions of, “So how exactly does the Easter bunny get in our house? Does he go down the chimney like Santa?” or “Why do we have to color the eggs? And what does a bunny want with eggs, anyway?”
There don’t seem to be pat answers for these mysteries in secular Easter lore. So I think the jig is up.
And I’m sad, because I have a feeling that once this Rabbit-sized domino falls from grace, the others will quickly follow. And I’m not quite ready for that yet.