By Shelby Cain
‘Twas the night before Easter and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, just the minds of Four and Six, peppering me with questions.’ “Is the Easter Bunny just a man dressed in a costume? How does he get into our house? What if he steals something? Is the Easter Bunny a stranger? Does he have magic dust? Do the Easter Bunny, God and Santa all work together? What about the Valentine’s lady?” And on. And on. After 45 minutes of this, which included constant warnings from me that the big bunny may not come if they didn’t stop with the questions, I almost gave in. I had the truth on the tip of my tongue, ready to fly. I’ve written about this before. The absurdity of spinning these magical holiday tales for our trusting, naïve children to digest whole-heartedly, only to be wildly disappointed down the line. It’s fun to believe. I know. I get it. But I caught myself in the moment of trying to explain how a man-sized rabbit could sneak into our house undetected, with the giant eyes of my girls soaking in every absurdity I could conjure up, and I felt like a lunatic. It defies every golden rule I’ve tried to instill over the last few years. So I looked up where this whole bunny thing came from in the first place. Its origins reach back to the 1600s in Germany, where it began as an Easter hare bringing coloured eggs to only the good children, similar to Christmas. Somewhere along the line we dropped the whole naughty vs. nice list for Easter. I say we bring it back. If we’re going to all this trouble, the least we should get is a few weeks of, “If you don’t smarten up the Easter Bunny will put you on the naughty list and you’ll get dried up bunny poop in your basket this year!” Maybe we could get some kind of ‘Rodent on the shelf’ thing going, where the bunny’s main helper will show up every day, observe the kids behaviour, then return every night to the warren and report to the big guy. Rabbit in the rafters. Mouse on the molding. I’m just spitballing here, but you get the point. The Australians have such a rocky relationship with rabbits, on account of them overtaking their country and decimating their crops and all, that in some areas they’ve ditched the bunny all together. They’ve adopted the Easter bilby, an endangered marsupial that does resemble a rabbit around the ears. I like it. Let’s think outside the box a little. Twenty minutes after my final threat to cancel Easter, Four called me into her room one more time. “Mommy, I’m overthinking it.” Ditto kid.