Big rabbits and other fun

I’ve never understood it. Jesus died on the cross and was resurrected a few days later, so a big rabbit runs around hiding baskets of colored eggs and candy.

Ah, the mysteries of Easter.

My folks — oh, sorry — the Easter Bunny always hid our baskets when I was a child Simple places when we were little, a bit tougher as we got older. I kept up the same tradition … oops. I mean the bunny did the same thing at our house when the kids were small.

The year Maggie turned three was really the first time she was old enough to participate, or so I thought. We had been at the mall in Norfolk, Va. a few days before Easter, and she saw a great big bunny. You could set kids on the bunny’s lap and have a photo taken.

That wasn’t the reason we were there, and it is a good thing, because as soon as she caught a glimpse of the big purple rabbit grabbing at kids, she started to quiver. If we got within a few yards, the whimpering started. Hers, not mine.

The night before Easter, Eric and I talked with Maggie about the Easter Bunny coming to hide her basket. We were both excited about it, and looking forward to the fun.

It probably would have been fun if any of the three of us had gotten a wink of sleep. Maggie had nightmares all night about a giant rabbit sneaking into the house to attack us.

She finally fell into a deep sleep around 3 a.m., but was up before we were. After being up with a crying toddler, we finally fell into a deep sleep and slept through her getting up.
When I heard her moving around, I got up, woke Eric and we stumbled into the living room. She was sitting innocently on the couch, but kept glancing over to where her basket was “hidden” next to a chair. When we reminded her she was supposed to search for it, she avoided it very purposefully. It took me a few minutes to realize why.

I stood next to the basket and told her to “come over by Mommy,” hoping she’d notice the basket.

As I looked down at it, I noticed the ears of the chocolate rabbit were missing. When I asked her about it, she blamed it on the Easter Bunny.

That still makes me chuckle.

This will be the first Easter we have spent at home in a long time. More than a decade ago, my folks, brothers and families started a tradition of meeting at a hotel on Saturday. We spent the day playing in the pool and visiting. We talked hotels into letting us bring in crockpots and move tables so we could munch and nibble all day. After the kids were in bed, we’d hide plastic candy-filled eggs all over the hotel for the kids to find in the morning.

This year, things got hectic, and we all decided we would skip it. I’m a little saddened, but will enjoy being able to hide a basket in the house for my son, something I haven’t done in years.

Of course, it will be tough to get a 17-year-old out of bed to search for it, but a mom has to do what a mom has to do.

Happy Easter, everyone.