It’s Time to Lie … Again

At what point do these kids figure out the Easter bunny doesn’t actually come “hoppin’ down the bunny trail?"

For those of you who have been with the Patch since the beginning, you might recall a column I wrote about “lying about Santa.”

It never occurred to me until I had my own children that the whole concept of Santa sliding down the chimney and the Easter bunny hopping through the front door were essentially just lies told to our children. I mean, really, they are.

Call it tradition; call it bribery. Either way we are all still telling our kids that, this Easter Sunday, an eight-foot-tall rabbit is going to make his way to their house bearing baskets full of tacky toys and teeth-rotting treats. I’m still having some trouble with this.

I have no one but myself to blame.

Silly me. I started a tradition of placing a colorful trail of penny-filled plastic eggs from their bedrooms, down the hall, down the stairs, through the kitchen, up the stairs and into the family room ultimately ending at their Easter surprises -- the ultimate “bunny” trail.

This practice began almost a decade ago, and now I’m realizing my mistake. It’s just adding to the lie and the expectation on Easter dawn.

Certainly my ‘almost’ nine-year-old son, who happens to be very science-minded, would have come to the logical realization that there’s just no feasible way a ginormous white rabbit could know enough, nor have the dexterity, to deliver treat-filled baskets to every boy and girl in the country, as well as other Christians throughout the world.

By now he should have come to the conclusion that an animal doesn’t actually lay plastic eggs, nor can it possibly hop thousands of miles in one given night.

Surely he knows.

We’ve attended several “breakfasts with the Easter bunny.” We’ve seen Easter bunnies parading around at park hunts and sitting in oversized chairs at the malls. He knows they’re all different, some even scary. He even commented how the one "definitely wasn’t real" because it had a large (and clearly artificial) plastic nose.

After all of this evidence of the truth, one would think he could figure it out.

And herein lies my dilemma.

Is this the year where we say, “Hey bud, you know we love you and want you to be the happiest boy on the block, but do you REALLY think the Easter bunny comes to our house on Easter morning or are you just going with the flow?” Seriously … he HAS to know by now.

My husband, the realist in all things, says we should just tell him. He, too, is a science guy and is having a tough time understanding where the logical disconnect is occurring for our son.

“This is getting ridiculous,” he says. “Someone’s GOT to tell him!”

Alas, another holiday, another moral conflict. I know, I know … everyone tells me he’ll figure it out sooner or later. I’m just at the point where I wonder if he HAS figured it out and we’re the ones getting the wool pulled over our eyes.

Perhaps someday he’ll let the cat out of the bag and fill us in on all of his secrets  -- tales of how he had it all figured out when he was in first grade, and how he knew it would break our hearts if he admitted he knew the truth.

If that’s the case, I think I’ll love him even more for indulging us all these years.

“Hoppy” Easter everyone!

Laurie Wallace Theisen April 19, 2011 at 08:00 PM
When our daughter asks about Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy, we say to her, "Is it more fun to believe, or is it more fun not to believe?" She always says, "It's more fun to believe". And I say, "OK, then that's what we'll do". So she knows it's not real, but plays along because it's fun.
Lyle Richardson April 20, 2011 at 05:44 AM
Jenae, nice story however there is an easter bunny I just saw him at South Mall LOL and he better bring me my pnut butter egg from Gardners Candy......On a serious side I don't see anything wrong with the tradition of easter bunny, santa clause etc......I was raised with this tradition as well as im sure many others, and I turned out ok, just ask any who knows me.....If you dont believe in the easter bunny then no treats for you....
Pat Vallese April 20, 2011 at 12:15 PM
I have fond memories of past Easters. It was a day when the entire family would get together at my Grandparents house, have an old Italian feast, and play games and egg hunt with all my cousins. My grandmother would bake these cookies, shaped like men, except they had a hard boiled egg in the stomach. The point I am trying to make is that Easter is a very sad and upsetting day for Christians...the subject matter is not for very young people, so what better way to get them to look forward to this Sad Religious Holiday...keep them occupied until the time comes when they understand what this Day really means, and why it's celebrated. It's a lie that children will forgive you for. During this Holiday Week, I'd like to wish everyone in the Emmaus Community and Joyful Easter, and Passover.........
Jenae Holtzhafer April 20, 2011 at 12:58 PM
Happy Easter to you, too, Pat! Thanks for your insight. Easter certainly does hold many beautiful memories through the years, doesn't it? I'm particularly fond of ham, potatoes and lettuce with bacon dressing! I don't know if I see Easter as sad ... Good Friday was a sad day for Jesus and his followers as he had to endure such pain and suffering, but ultimately Easter Day is a joyous day for Christians because as a result, we will forever have eternal life, just as Jesus did when he rose from the grave. So I guess if you look at it that way, it's a WONDERFUL day! :) But it can definitely be a deep message for the young ones. Many blessings to you and your family and to the rest of our Patch community!
EMMAUS FOREVER April 20, 2011 at 05:55 PM
Do you tell your kids about God and Satan? Than you should"nt have a problem with the Easter Bunny and Santa?


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