Saturday, March 22, 2008

Here Comes P Cotton-Tail, Easter Moose?

Growing up, my parents happily perpetuated the Santa story. Even when we all grew to adulthood, the presents that appeared under the Christmas tree were always labeled with our names and a scrawled love, Santa. The tooth fairy usually exchanged our small teeth for a quarter, magically keeping the envelope sealed-- even once catching a sister who tried to verify the authenticity of this fairy being by scribbling on the inside of the envelope to see if the coin was, in fact, in the same sealed envelope she placed her tooth. Milk on St. Patrick's Day usually turned green, although I don't remember if leprechauns were blamed or not.

However, the Easter Bunny never visited our house. I was five months pregnant with the twins when my mom died. It never occurred to me to ask her specific questions about her parenting philosophy and approach before I became a parent so I only have murky childhood recollections about why that big rabbit never made it to our street in the Jersey suburbs. I know that Mom's aversion to the Easter Bunny stemmed from her strong Catholic faith, and I guess she was waging her own battle against the secularization of this religious holiday. And yes, we were never allowed to watch television on Good Friday either-- in solidarity with Jesus's suffering, perhaps? One certainly hears folks say, "Let's keep Christ in Christmas" during frenzied Decembers, but I can't say I've heard a similar statement for Easter time. My parents were not totally Pascal Scrooges though-- we did each get a chocolate rabbit and I know my mom was particularly fond of the black jellybeans. However, these Easter goodies did not magically appear in the night in some bright colored basket filled with those annoying green plastic strips, but were simply handed out by my folks, not sure if that was before or after church.

Given this, I don't yet have a strong sense of what my own family's Easter traditions should be. My only absolute is that the chocolate rabbits must be solid chocolate; none of those hollow bunnies for my fellows. We were away on vacation up until this past Wednesday night so we didn't do much planning for the holiday. We didn't pre-buy Easter goodies or plan if/when we would have an egg hunt. I guess we didn't talk much about the Easter bunny coming either as evidenced by the following conversation, my husband, P, had with our sons (represented by 'B' here for boys) yesterday while trying to exploit the Easter myth to get the guys to behave:

P: I would be careful, guys. You know who's supposed to come tomorrow.

B: Gigi and Bump! [Glad the guys are excited about seeing their grandparents]

P: Well, yes, but someone more important. [He said that, not I, while gesturing with his hands on top of his head.]

B: A moose?

P laughs and responds by sticking his front top teeth out and now putting his hands folded down close to the front of his body.

B: A mouse?

P now starts hopping, teeth out, hands still in front folded down.

B: A kangaroo?

Somewhere, I think, my mom must be as amused by this exchange as I was.


Anonymous said...

no hollow bunnies in this house either!

Terra said...

Did you get Peter on video? ROFL. So Funny.