Easter. We celebrated sacredly, secularly and familially (you should know by now, I like to make up words).
Sacredly we hosted a Seder Supper for interested congregants from our church. Though I'm sure we did not abide by all the Jewish traditions we appreciated the great symbolism of bitter herbs, unleavened bread and enjoyed 4 sips of grape juice instead of 4 glasses of red wine, in a bid to be responsible hosts.
We celebrated the Risen Christ at church on Easter Sunday and then the kids hunted for Easter eggs in the lobby of the church in the intersection of Jesus and the Bunny.
Familially, we had a family dinner on Friday night at my older bro and sis-in-law's home and we had my niece and nephew for a sleepover on Saturday night and into Easter Sunday morning, which of course included the annual visitation of the Easter bunny, which brings me to the subject of this blog.
The dilemma, on which I expended far too much mental energy and precious time, was just how to negotiate the Bunny situation in light of our guests, aged 5 and 4. The Bunny has certain traditions in our home and J Boy is rather sensitive to these and to be honest I worry about the magic evaporating. It's not an egg hunt and the baskets don't just contain chocolate. New socks and presents are part of the deal.
After great deliberation, I figured the best way was to get our kids to wait to hunt for their baskets until after our guests left. Little Bro and sis-in-law were to pick the kids up after church and since we'd be at church for a pancake breakfast early, I didn't think it would be to hard to wait and the cousins no doubt would have baskets waiting for them at home.
I was a little nervous about how the J Boy would cope as he has not really embraced the whole concept of delayed gratification.
I floated the trial balloon one day after school: "I thought we might look for our Easter baskets after church on Sunday instead of when we get up. Your cousins' baskets will be at their house and we don't want to make them feel badly".
This may be a good time to mention that Husband and I are also lucky recipients of baskets at Easter. The Bunny brought them one year just for fun and not at all intending that it become part of the tradition, but the kids did not forget that bit of generosity on the part of the long-eared one and so he's committed to it ever since.
Back to my trial balloon. J Boy was not at all phased per se by the delayed pleasure on Easter morning. He did have an alternate solution.
"But won't the Easter Bunny know to bring their baskets to our house?"
I so have this, I think smugly. "Well the Easter Bunny brings the baskets to the children's HOMES, so the Bunny will bring their baskets to their house."
"But at Christmas Santa knew that we would be at Oma and Opa's house so why wouldn't the Easter Bunny know that our cousins would be here?"
Stumped as usual by a 7 year old. Santa did find us at my parents at Christmas. I could not really come up with a credible answer that didn't sound too out there. Easter Bunny is on a different communication grid? Easter Bunny does not have a sleigh pulled by magic reindeer so it takes him longer to get around and he can't accommodate changes in location? That was too much, even for me.
I chose a tried and true parenting tactic: ignoration (another made up word. I should publish my own dictionary). I just ignored all questions and just gently reminded the kids now and again that we would hunt for our baskets after church. I did promise that Mommy and Daddy would buy some chocolate eggs for the kids and the four of them could look for those before church.
J came up with a new objection. "What if we accidentally find our baskets when we look for the eggs?"
"I'll make sure I don't hide the eggs near any baskets"
"But then you might find your basket when you're hiding the eggs and it will ruin the surprise for you!"
"How about we hide the eggs OUTSIDE. The Easter Bunny never hides our baskets outside."
"But won't the chocolate get dirty and wet outside?"
When the day came, we were all up and out the door before 8 so no one remembered (including me) about the chocolate eggs. J Boy started asking questions about when they could search for their baskets on the way to church and asked about every 8 minutes for the next 3 hours.
J wanted to look for his basket immediately upon returning home from church. We were expecting bro/sis-in-law very soon after our arrival, but I was not sure that J could wait even an extra nanosecond. So I came up with a McGyver'ed solution to the whole basket deal.
"I heard that sometimes when children are visiting, the Easter Bunny leaves them mini-baskets of chocolate!" I said enthusiastically.
"Oh that's great!!!" J Boy, bless his heart, embraced my parental proclamation. "We can all look for our baskets!".
Thank goodness for extra bread baskets hanging around. And a healthy dose of wilful blindness.