So this year Charley let me know she doesn't believe in the Easter bunny any more. No matter how much lying and finagling I tried to do she was not buying it. Here is how the conversation went.
Char: Mom is the Easter bunny real? (said with a menacing smirk)
Me: Yah! Why?
Char: Well we have that whole box of plastic eggs and our baskets down in the basement.
Me: Yes, well I keep those things for the Easter bunny and he then fills up the eggs and the baskets when he gets here. What you think he can carry around all that stuff to every kids house?
Char: Well, then using your same logic how can he carry around all that candy and stuff to put in the eggs and the baskets?
Me: Uhhhhhhhh.. Maybe it's like on Tom and Jerry where they have like a little pill and they add water and poof all the stuff pops out!
Char: Like dehydrated food?
Me: Yes, sort of.
Char: I don't think you can dehydrate Easter grass and hollow chocolate bunnies.
Me: I don't know that shit is magic! Don't ask me to explain magic! That's like asking me to explain a shooting star.
Char: That's easy. That is an asteroid or other space particle that hits the earths atmosphere and burns up as it's entering.
Me: Yes... you are right but isn't it nicer to imagine the magical star shooting across the sky and making wishes and what not?
Char: Yes if you are a child! I'm not a child!
Me: Don't get all analytical and jaded on me already!!!!! YOU ARE NINE!
Char: Yes, but I'm no child.
Me: Well then what exactly are you?
Char: A young adult!
Me: Oh Lord help me... I'm' going to be drinking heavily when we get home! This is the saddest conversation I have ever had.
And it was not until later that night. She caught me trying to stuff three baskets into our suit cases since we were headed out of town for Easter weekend. I knew that the jig was up then and in an effort to control the damage I decided to give her the following letter. I could not bear the thought of her possibly discussing her new found information with her little brothers.
Thank you for our talk the other night. It was a very very good question: “Are you The Easter Bunny? Is he real?” I know you’ve wanted the answer to this question for a long time, and I’ve had to give it careful thought to know just what to say.
The answer is no. I am not The Easter Bunny. There is no one Easter bunny.
I am the person who fills your eggs with candy and baskets with presents, though. (And yes, Daddy helps, too.)
I imagine you will someday do this for your children, and I know you will love seeing them run down the stairs on Easter morning. You will love seeing their small faces lit with excitement.
This won’t make you the Easter Bunny, though.
He is bigger than any person, and his work has gone on longer than any of us have lived. What he does is simple, but it is powerful. He teaches children how to have belief in something they can’t see or touch, He gives them hope and lights them with magic.
It’s a big job, and it’s an important one. Throughout your life, you will need this capacity to believe: in yourself, in your friends, in your talents and in your family. You’ll also need to believe in things you can’t measure or even hold in your hand. Here, I am talking about love, that great power that will light your life from the inside out, even during its darkest, coldest moments.
Magic things like the Easter Bunny are our teachers, and I have been a student of this magic. Now you will know the secret of how he fills all those baskets and eggs across the world, and now you will learn this magic, you will help others believe in this magic. The Easter Bunny has help from all the people whose hearts he’s filled with joy.
With full hearts, people like Daddy and me take our turns helping the Easter Bunny do a job that would otherwise be impossible.
So, no. I am not the Easter Bunny. He is love and magic and hope and happiness. I’m on his team, and now you are, too. Together help me guard this magic. Please help me keep it alive for little Finn and Juder Bug too. I hope they believe as long as they can. It’s important to hang onto that magic.
I’m proud of you and I love you and always will.- Mom and Dad
I adapted it from another I saw like it on the Internet about Santa. When we read it together she simply smiled a wry and self important smile. One of some kind of pride at being "let in on the secret."
All the while I bawled my eyes out. Yep- leave it to me to be the one crying and not her. She actually comforted me. She really is the more mature one in this relationship anyhow you know? But I just sat there feeling crushed. Feeling like I was looking at a 20 year old who'd just told me she was having kids of her own. Feeling like I was no longer looking at my innocent child but instead looking at this girl, this pre-woman, this mature,kind, and smart little lady. And well- I was.
Today I feel a mixture of happy and sad. Sad at my little girls growing up and happy at how it is happening. I don't think we give ourselves enough credit as mommies. Always second guessing our decisions. But today I feel good about this one thing. She is me- she is a reflection of me and what I am teaching her to be. Kind, compassionate, loving, smart, and mature. I feel such pride in her. So for today I will feel that same pride in what I am doing here raising these kids. Good kids, because I'm a good mommy.
Tomorrow I'll go back to flogging myself.