I outed the Easter Bunny.
I felt pretty good about it on Sunday.
Today I’m feeling less confident, super guilty and completely paranoid that I’ve crushed her imagination and stolen a little piece of her childhood.
I do the mother-guilt thing really, really well!
I should’ve been Catholic.
Anyway, as most of you know I love Santa Clause. I’m a staunch defender of the big guy and I think he has a valid role in the Christmas story.
I get that the flying reindeer is a bit of a stretch, but come on. It’s a real person.
He’s a man.
With a wife.
I love him so much that when Emma Claire “happened upon” ALL of her Santa presents (Santa doesn’t wrap. Good grief. Hale No, he doesn’t wrap,) so when she came across them, and when, bless her heart she told me that she had found all of her presents, I went to walmart in De Queen, flipping Arkansas on CHRISTMAS EVE to buy ALL new presents so as not to destroy her innocence and child-like faith in the unseen.
Yes. I love Santa.
But the Easter Bunny? Seriously? A Bunny that hops from home to home and lays eggs or hides the eggs or whatever it is that he does and I just don’t really get the whole bunny and egg thing and so this year I filled the eggs in front of my children.
It’s the night before the resurrection. Jesus is still in the grave and I cannot think about bunnies.
Unless the bunny is dead.
And coming back to life. To save, you know, all of human-kind.
Single parenting is hard. Single parenting during holidays is super-hard and I gotta tell you, I’m a little tired of pretend characters stealing all of my thunder.
But I’m not an Easter grinch.
I filled baskets. Fun baskets. Emma Claire’s basket had beautiful rocks (because for some reason, rocks, and I quote “are very special to her” and I filled them with nerf guns and water guns and Emma Claire got her own because I know how upset she gets when she’s left out of “boy” games and there was candy and a really cool water bottle and she woke up Sunday morning, sprang out of bed and ran to find her basket.
And there was joy.
But after church. After “Up from the grave He arose” and after “Christ the Lord has Risen today” and after Pastor spoke about Peter before and Peter after and how our lives are to be dramatically changed because of this day and yes, after all of this Emma Claire came home and complained that the Easter Bunny didn’t bring very much.
Coulter defended him, ‘OH, Emma Claire, yes he did. He brought a lot.” This is a little out of character for Coulter, which gives me the distinct impression he’s fully aware that a bunny did not hop into our home the night before.
I let it go.
Half and hour later, tears well up into her eyes and she says, “Mom. You forgot to give us anything for Easter.”
I learned recently to always respond “to emotion with emotion”. So, instead of giving her the whole, Easter is not about you getting gifts mom-answer, I pulled her onto my lap an I said—
“Emma Claire. Can I tell you a secret? The Easter Bunny did not leave this basket for you. Easter is about Jesus and the bunny is just a fun, silly way to celebrate spring. The Easter bunny doesn’t know that rocks are special to you.
Your mom knows.
And the Easter Bunny doesn’t know how you like to have your own nerf gun.
You mom knows.”
She looks up at me, two and two makes four, and says, “Oh.Well, is Santa Clause real?”
I answered honestly. Santa will still come. He will come because he brings gifts to celebrate Jesus’ birthday but Easter is nobody’s birthday.”
She hops off my lap.
“OK, mom, but I may want to talk about this again later.”
Sure thing, Emma Claire.
My lap is always open.
So, I don’t know. What I did was either completely selfish and self-serving or it was the right thing to do.
Or maybe both.
All I know is when she thought that I had forgotten her, I needed her to know that I hadn’t.
And I would never.
Well, except at church. I did forget her there.
But only once.
I thought she was with Jenny. But, ya know, she wasn’t.
She was alone. At the church.
And I was at Runza.
And I also forgot my friend’s daughter at school this week. There’s so many kids in my van sometimes, that I feel like that family from Home Alone. Remember when they count off before vacation, and the wrong head got counted and well, it’s sorta like that.
Except I didn’t fly to Paris.
Mostly because I can’t afford to fly to Paris.
And if I was going to forget a kid and fly somewhere it would definitely be to the beach.
You know what I will never forget?
I will never forget the look on Emma Claire’s face when she realized it was her mom who had gotten her those special rocks.
And I will never forget her meticulously placing them, one-by-one into a vase for safe keeping.
And I will never forget Coulter coming upstairs with a Starwars lego-man hanging from a lego-cross with lego-chains and a spear at his side, “Because, do you remember mom? That’s how they checked to see if Jesus was really dead.”
Yes, Coulter. I remember.