By Sarah R. Moore
Before I address the Easter Bunny, can I confess that we celebrated Easter one year on Cinco de Mayo? We were travelling unexpectedly during the “real” holiday in April and didn’t have the forethought to toss any recycled plastic eggs in our hastily packed suitcases.
Besides, the date people celebrate Easter changes every year, anyway, right? (This is one major advantage of my five-year-old not paying much attention to the calendar yet. It’s whatever day we decide it is.) All that to say, we put Easter at the top of our “to do” list as soon as we got home. She was on board with that.
I’ll preface this by saying I never really planned to do the whole Easter Bunny thing.
I celebrated Easter with Good Sir Bunny when I was a child (apparently I’ve formalised his name since then), but had mixed feelings about doing it for my own little one. I always wanted to tell her the truth. I still believe that’s important. At the same time, I also believe in allowing for some fun and nostalgic traditions, with honest discussion around the topic anytime she’d ask.
Following her enthusiastic pro-Easter Bunny lead when she was younger, however, my husband and I signed on for as long as her belief would last, wiggling our pink bunny noses in agreement.
The evening before the Big Day we’d celebrate, however, and at the dinner table right before bedtime, my daughter had a question.
“Mommy, is the Easter Bunny real, or do you and Daddy just hide all the eggs yourselves?”
Thoughts raced through my head: “She’s only five; almost six. I wasn’t ever sure we’d even do the Easter Bunny, but now that we have, should it be over so soon? Is she growing up right before my eyes?”
I recalled the importance of answering questions with questions when it comes to addressing tricky inquiries that have “loaded” answers.
On one hand, I wanted to protect her sweet little heart from breaking, just in case it would.
On the other, and much more importantly, I wanted to respond in a way that would continue to foster a lifetime of trust with my child.
So, I asked her, “What do you think is true?”
She responded, “Mommy, I just want you to tell me. I don’t want you to joke with me. I want the real answer, please, for real-real.” (“For real-real” is what she says when she’s unequivocally serious.)
Me: “I understand. What do you want to be true?”
Her: “I think you and Daddy hide the eggs.”