I say friend.
Especially if he really sounds and acts with awesome Aussie characteristics like Hugh Jackman in the animated flick Rise of the Guardians.
I know there are purist parents who think the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus and such are frivolous distractions from the real meaning of religious holidays, or there are those parents who think it’s lying to your kids and setting them up for disappointment. Those kinds of folks would be a real killjoy at Disneyland when they see a princess and tell their kids, “That isn’t really Cinderella. She’s just a former Miss Santa Barbara dressed up for a meager paycheck until she gets a break in Hollywood.”
I personally think a reasonable balance can be found between holiday fun and faith, and disappointments and hard realities come soon enough in life with or without belief in a big bunny or a burly elf, so I say let the kiddies enjoy some make believe while they can. My kids are all past the make believe stage and I miss it. In fact, our family’s official end to childhood magic was my fault.
It was a beautiful and tragic Easter morn a few years ago when I accidentally ratted out the Easter Bunny. The kids’ cute bedheads were happily bobbing up and down as they hopped through the living room in their pjs searching under throw pillows and behind plants for Easter eggs. They’d found most of the eggs, but a few were still lurking elusively and we hardly wanted to leave any to fester into future toxic bombs, so we were counting the eggs already found and trying to remember how many we’d colored the night before.
That’s when I said the unthinkable out loud to my husband, “Jason, didn’t you count the eggs before you hid them last night?”
Three sets of shocked little eyes turned to me. Time stood still momentarily as the reality of what I’d just said sank in for all of us.
Jason gave me the cutthroat sign.
I facepalmed back.
Then my oldest daughter bravely asked the question nobody really wanted the answer for, “But . . . but . . . doesn’t the Easter Bunny hide the eggs?”
It was over.
In a desperate recovery effort Jason and I tried to work a lame cover story about how the Easter Bunny gets so busy sometimes that he has parents help with egg hiding duty.
My kids tried to believe it.
They wanted to believe it, but the glass bubble had been cracked.
The realities of life seeped through the crack and activated the microscopic hormone buds that start the transmutation of sweet, whimsical, joyful tots into sarcastic, moody, irrational beings known as teenagers.
Let them believe as long as you can, people!
Keep them in the bubble!
Because someday in the not-too-far future you’ll be standing in the seasonal aisle of WalMart at 8:37 p.m. on Easter Eve sifting through the picked over candy selection with your sixteen-year-old who is trying to decide if she wants you to put a chocolate bunny or some orange sticks in her Easter basket in a few hours.
It’s just not the same.