Wednesday, April 9, 2014

My Grandma killed the Easter Bunny!

The Headlines:

I believed in the Easter Bunny.

Until my Grandmother changed everything.





When should you tell your kids the truth about... the Easter Bunny?  Maybe not as soon as you think. I say this from experience.


I was 5 and we were shopping.  Grandma and I had found a seat so we could catch a breath while my mom shopped on.  I guess we started talking about the upcoming holiday.  It was Easter.  I had no idea that the question I was about to pose, would basically, rip the Easter rug right from under me!  I remember it clear as day as I asked my Grandma, with all her wisdom, the question so many children ask this time of year:  "How did the Easter Bunny get inside our house?"

Without missing a beat, she replied, "through the window."  "Oh no," I said, " we never open the windows!"  Annoyed, she changed her story, "Well then, he gets in through the door…" "Ah, no he doesn't" I said, "Mom makes sure the doors are locked!"  Obviously irritated she tells me he comes down the chimney.  "Grandma, that's crazy, everyone knows that's how Santa gets in the house!"  Oh, well now that was IT!  "For goodness sakes child, there IS NO EASTER BUNNY,"  She says!

HUH?

I followed up, surprising, I know.  "Then what about Santa Claus?" I asked.  Nope.  "And the Tooth Fairy?"  Same story.  I was shocked, saddened and maybe a little angry.  My mom had come back around this time.  She was fuming.  I was in kindergarten and it was ruined.

Know what I did next?  What every good reporter would do with huge news.  I told people.  I went straight to school and started sharing the news.  It made kids cry.  It made them ticked off.  It made me a bad guy.  So, I stopped telling.

But my fun, my magic, my excitement and wonder was already ruined.  Far too young.

So it begs the question? When is the right time to "kill" the Easter Bunny?

I have a friend who told her kids the truth about all of this… from the beginning.  She says she wants the credit for those gifts, money and baskets, not some figment of the imagination.

Really?

I wonder what's so wrong with believing in something for a few years during a child's young life?  Perhaps it increases the strength of the imagination?  Or maybe it just pushes make believe into a stratosphere that we'll never be able to capture, as adults, again.  I see nothing wrong with that… growing up happens way too fast as it is.

These days, I see parents, companies, people in general… trying a little harder to keep the "magic" alive.  Maybe it's because their fun was also ruined too early in life.  I actually know some 4th graders who genuinely still believe.  I was shocked at first and now, as a parent, I get it.  Keep it as long as you can.   They'll be disappointed by so many people and in so many ways…soon enough.


There is no ONE right time to "kill" the Easter Bunny.  You, as a parent, will know when the time is right.  When my daughter looks into my eyes and asks me, specifically, what the real deal is  - I'll tell her.  Because she'll be ready to hear it.

At 5, when my Easter Bunny was killed, I was far from ready to hear that news.  In fact, I'm pretty sure a little part of myself, died that day too.  Way ahead of schedule.