Sunday, April 20, 2014

Mean Mom or "Why we don't play Easter Bunny"

I crawled out of bed early this morning and peeked in on my sleeping Kade; his little breaths moving up and down, his bum tucked into the air, his hair sticking straight out in all directions, he was completely unaware of the beautiful morning he was missing. Light oozed through his bedroom window and birds sang praises. The world was exploding around him and he rested. I stared at him for a while and thought long and hard about this whole Easter thing and how I might be "ruining his childhood."

The Easter Bunny does not come to our house.

The big red man? You won't see him sneaking down this (non-existent) chimney either. I've been told by some raw, honest folks that I'm stealing the magic from Kade. I'm ruining his childhood, making him the target of bullies and, get this, he is going to hate me for it when he is an adult.

A giant bunny did not leave pellets of "poop" in my house this morning. We did not plant a jelly bean and have suckers grow in their place and honestly? Kade knows better. He's lovingly planted actual plants and knows darn well that candy is not a plant. There are no giant bunny footprints leading out of my apartment. I did not hide eggs all over my house because seriously, if a giant bunny did get in, why on earth would he hide eggs?

I don't like lying to my kid. I want a relationship with him that is built on trust, honesty and love. I am not going to force magic into his childhood because I think Kade creates the magic himself. He doesn't need to sit (and probably scream) on the lap of a giant costumed rabbit to be a happy kid, truly experiencing his childhood. When Kade gets older he is going to notice that his friends believe in a rabbit with apparent hypothyroidism. Another thing I've been told is that he is going to ruin it for others. That might be true but vastly accidental. I am so sorry if my kid tells your kid that you have in fact been lying to them since birth.

Let me tell you something about today; it was magical. Kade woke up elated to pull gifts from an Easter basket. He knew very well that the gifts were from Mommy and Daddy and because of that, he thanked us. He was grateful and appreciative and recognized that we had worked hard to do it for him. I think this is important. Gratitude is a lesson that is often difficult for adults to learn but of course it is; we've handed off the credit to imaginary creatures and in return, our kids aren't expected to give out simple thanks. They're spoiled. Last night, we decorated eggs. We didn't decorate eggs so that a rabbit could hide them about our house. We decorated eggs because it's fun and creative and a little bit silly. We were up way past bedtime laughing and having an irreplaceable family moment. And that moment was even more special because it was an honest moment. We weren't filling his head with ideas of the Big Bunny, we were having a genuinely good time in his company.

This morning Kade asked us, "What is Easter?" We gave him the best answer we could muster. We explained that some families play the Easter bunny, we talked about Jesus and we talked about family. We were raw and straight forward. His response was simple. He grinned and nodded and said, "Okay, thanks mama daddy." That is why we don't play Easter or Santa or Tooth Fairy. Because my baby trusts me and he is happy without all the fluff and made up junk.

We celebrate the ordinary and let the extraordinary happen on it's own.

So, today we celebrated. We joined our church family for a pancake breakfast, fellowship, hugs and handshakes. He ran about the grass with his church friends and found Easter eggs and afterwards he thanked the Pastor and his nursery teacher and wished them an exuberant HAPPY EASTER! He played for a long time with his friends and took a peaceful nap. This afternoon, we opened his new paint set and ate candy together.

Over and over today, Ian and I have told Kade how proud we are of him. He has taken this simple day and made it so special, so magical, so full of memories. He is joyful and he is happy.

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter, however you celebrated.

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