Here comes Peter Cotton Tail… hopping down the commercially over-exploited holiday trail.
And here’s the problem with the furry little critter…my second grader is about to make stew out of the whole Easter Bunny concept.
Well, it’s more like the connection between Jesus and the brightly colored eggs. He’s 8-going-on-lawyer and is building his supporting arguments. Questioning, Questioning, Questioning. And the jury is out for him on this one.
But the big bunny isn’t the only fictional childhood character in the hot seat, just this past Christmas, Santa was called to the witness stand. Since I wasn’t prepared with my closing argument as counsel for the defendant in this childhood-character-courtroom-drama, I did what any responsible parent would do, I simply countered, ‘what do YOU think?’
As he worked out the concept – wanting to still believe, I simply did my best avoidance tactic of answering-by-not-answering… asking him questions and offering, “Santa’s as real as you believe” and focusing on the true meaning of Christmas. We talked about Jesus’ birthday and why we give gifts.
“I think Santa’s real,” he says hopefully. “But then one time I got a present – the Nintendo DS – and you said was from Santa and I know it wasn’t. Momma, I know.”
He continued, presenting his closing arguments, “It wasn’t from Santa. It was from Amazon.”
I’m thinking….Is that a new character I didn’t see in the ‘Parents’ Guide to Childhood Fictional Characters’?
“Momma. I saw it. I saw it on Daddy’s computer. Amazon shows when things were shipped and it was on their shipping chart. The DS was shipped from Amazon to our house. Not from Santa.”
“Uh… Wh-what-do-you-mean? I got that for you.” Weak, Maria. Think, brain, Think!
Then the dagger in my heart. He said, “Well, Momma, if there’s no Santa….(sobbing now) that means you and Daddy have been lying to me all this time.”
Grappling for words, I simply grabbed him and pulled him close….”Ommygoodness, sweetie, let me tell you something, Mommy and Daddy love you very much. And we would NEVER EVER EVER say or do anything to hurt you.”
He looked up to me, eyes searching and seeking solace and comfort. “Okay. That’s good, I know, I know, Momma. Besides I still kinda believe.”
So kids want to believe and parents want their kids to believe, but there’s still the question lingering: as parents, do we still continue the childhood holiday characters?
Do we continue hiding eggs and baskets and jelly beans and propose that an oversized rabbit really has anything to do with Jesus? And that if we give gifts that it really will create enough of a distraction for our intelligent children?
In truth, what DO brightly colored eggs dipping in varying colors have to do with Easter?
(Some say it’s a Pagan symbol of rebirth and adopted as a sign of the resurrection of Jesus if that helps to bridge that jelly-bean covered gap. Though, I will tell you many disagree with that theory. And I will be posting an Easter fact-filled fun adventure to share with your kiddos, so check back for that.)
What’s a bit sad as a Momma, is that – once this Easter egg cracks – does that invariably mean that – poof- the tooth fairy is flossed, the leprechaun is at the end of his rainbow and Santa is covered in soot?
If so, it’s the end of a fairy tale, this bunny’s not ready to close the book on.