Please excuse this rerun from 2013, in honor of Easter today…
It was already a big night. I was able to stay up a little later than my three younger sisters. I was a cocky 8 year-old sitting on the vinyl couch in the lower floor of our tri-level watching “The Ten Commandments.” Of all the scenes, I’m not sure why Edward G. Robinson’s unlikely casting stays with me even to this day, but it was this scene…
The door-wall slid open, and my dad’s face appeared, “Want to help me hide the eggs?”
It took a moment for the shift away from my childhood to sink in as I looked back to Edward G. as I considered my father’s words.
“The Easter eggs.”
Then I must have given the cartoon double-take as my wide-eyed expression made my dad laugh.
“You’re the Easter bunny?”
He laughed and nodded. Then, my denial didn’t want to ask the inevitable follow-up. But I did.
He smiled and shook his head.
Wow. What a moment. I suppose the mourning over my innocence lasted nearly ten seconds, until I thought of the next morning, the morning of the hunt. The morning of my omniscience.
I never let it dawn on me as I sought the eggs at six-foot heights, that the rabbit must be a high jumper–or worse, a giant rodent prowling our house at night. Denial can carry you pretty far.
When you’ve got the real eggs going, the hard-boiled ones, you can’t risk not finding them all. You’ll pay the price days later. Even as a dad, I have to take careful notes to count the eggs hidden so no stinky man is left behind–even if that man is Humpty Dumpty.
So I grabbed a flashlight and went out into the cool evening with my father to tuck plastic eggs under bushes and in the sandbox. I laughed to myself as I knew what I’d say the next morning to my sleepy sisters.
“Hmmm, Colleen. Maybe you should look under that frisbee.”
Omniscience and smugness is a decent trade-off for loss of an entire belief system.
And to misquote Edward G. “Where’s your Easter Bunny nowwwww?”