I sometimes really dislike Easter, or rather the commercialization of Easter. I end up trying to gain all the weight I lost around Christmas when those evil peanut butter eggs show up. It’s horrible how weak I am, but when I see them at the store my hands automatically snatch a pack off the display and they’re in my basket before I can process what I’ve done.
But I’m not going to talk about my weakness today. No, I’m going to talk about the Easter bunny. I’m sure someone knows why we have the Easter bunny instead of the Easter chicken, but I haven’t researched it enough to find out why we have a mythical rabbit running around dropping chocolate eggs all over the place.
In fact, even when I was a kid, I had a problem with the Easter bunny. Santa Claus I could understand, but a rabbit who leaves a basket of goodies? Yeah, right. I say this because I’m currently looking at a picture of my youngest nephew with the Easter bunny. He looks so happy to be in that weird rabbit’s lap, like he couldn’t imagine being anywhere else. Of course he’s only 5 months old and he likes sparkly stuff, so that’s understandable.
Yet I’m reminded of an incident that happened when I was about eight or nine. I was spending Easter with my dad and stepmother. We went over to visit her family and all of their kids. Out of my four families (my mom’s, dad’s, stepfather’s and stepmother’s) only my stepparents had kids in their families close to my age. Weird.
Anyway, I was hanging out with my cousins, playing and goofing off when someone said something about the Easter bunny. Being the enlightened, cynical eight-year-old I was, I told them there was no Easter bunny. Oh man, it was like I’d just announced A.L.F. wasn’t a real alien. Chaos and pandemonium erupted until one of the cousins, a little older than me and a lot taller, decided I needed to be taught a lesson because dammit, the Easter bunny was real!
So I’m standing there with my shirt gripped in my cousin’s fist. She’s giving me this look that clearly said if I didn’t admit there was an Easter bunny I’d be seeing little birds tweeting around my head. That’s when I saw this white box deep in the woods from the corner of my eye. Have I mentioned my mom’s family is a bunch of great bullshitters? Well, we are and I learned how to bluff my way out of trouble.
“Look!” I whispered with all the surprise I could muster. “It’s the Easter bunny!”
Instantly, all attention zeroed in on the barely seen box. My cousin, certain I now believed in a mythical-basket-giving-rabbit (how could it hand out baskets without thumbs?), let me go and I ran to the house with the adults. I look back and realize it was wrong of me to break their little hearts about the Easter bunny. It wasn’t really my place to tell them they were buying into a scam.
Will I do something similar with my youngest nephew? Of course not. He’ll have to develop awareness just like I did. I don’t think it’ll take long. His father (my little brother) was only three or four when he said if he saw Santa Claus he was going to shoot his reindeer so he could eat them.
Yeah, it runs in the family.