I saw my kids' spirit waver once. At Easter

Two years ago we got a babysitter and went to dinner with friends. It wasn’t an epic night, there were no hangovers or shenanigans. We just caught up over a nice dinner, hubby drove the sitter home, and we went to bed. I was wakened at the usual time, by the usual suspects. Then seven- and four-years old, they were standing side by side right at the edge of my bed. Kid’s eyes are larger and more luminous in the dark. They’re like mirrors. I saw my bed head and groggy good morning smile reflect back at me as my son softly whispered “…I guess the Easter bunny forgot us…”

In the mirror I saw my eyes go big too. And I felt my stomach plummet.

There are hundreds of personality tests and Cosmo quizzes out there. I score high for thinking fast on my feet. So I shot up out of bed. “What?! Nonono,” I blathered, “Are you sure?” I had to assess the damage. I knew it how bad it looked. Nothing of the usual traditions put in place. No Easter basket by each of their beds, a trail of foil-covered eggs leading to the hall, meandering where the cat played with them in the night. No gifts on the kitchen table. Never major gifts, but gifts nonetheless. No bleary-eyed parents saying “warmer, hot hot hot!” to help them find the eggs hidden in obscure places.

Sweet and sensitive son said “No, the bunny didn’t come, we went downstairs. There’s no Easter this year.” and his lower lip trembled. As his sister took his hand and just-waking up hubby was gobsmacked with same realization churning in my gut, I decided on the plan.

“I’m going to go see,” I said. “Just let me go see.” and I backed out of the room, tossing each kid on the bed and conveying with a combo stink eye/dagger glance to hubby they were to stay put. I really had only one option. I took the hundred or so foil covered eggs, the toothbrushes, pj’s, colouring books, chocolate rabbits and Wii game and looked outside. It was raining. I really only had half an option. I threw the entire stash under the dining room table, already set-up for that night’s big dinner. I hooted like a mad woman. “Look what I found!”

It’s already happened this year. Perhaps prompted by talk at school, or hearing Easter plans being made on the phone: “Remember that time you guys scared the Easter bunny when you came home from dinner?” We won’t ever forget.

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