Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Easter Bunny

Grab a nice, hot cup of tea, a latte or whatever your favourite beverage may be and get comfortable—I am going to tell you a story that will, without a doubt, reassure you that you are not the worst parent in the world.

I am.

This afternoon, Camille (my nine year old) and I were watching tv together. We’d been out all day at a cool, historic property, marching around an Easter Trail. Great outdoor, parent-children bonding time.
Camille had been saying things like, ‘I know when I am a parent, I will ask the Easter Bunny to give my children a present along with their chocolate eggs,’ and ‘Do you think that the Easter Bunny will bring me a giant cream filled egg this year? I just love cream filled eggs’.

Here’s where my misunderstanding began.

These hints continued into the later afternoon as we sat watching a cooking show together. So, as we were sitting there on the couch, I looked at Camille, and maybe it was because I was tired from our day’s adventures, or maybe it was because I was temporarily insane, but I said to her, ‘Okay now, Camille—we all know that you know that the Easter Bunny is not real.’

Cover wide-open mouth with left hand. Mumble expletives, if desired.

Camille looked at me for a few, very long seconds, then she blinked and blinked again, then the tears came streaming down her cheeks.

Oh shit. Oh my God—what have I done?

‘Oh no, Camille—you thought the Easter Bunny was real??? Oh no. I am so sorry. I truly thought you were kidding around with the hints about gifts and cream eggs...’ I held her hands and stared into her soft, brown eyes brimming with tears. The idea that I had put an end to her childhood innocence swept across me like a cold, sharp wind; I shuddered.

After a while she sniffed and wiped away some tears. ‘Camille, I am truly so very sorry. I thought you knew,’ I managed. ‘It’s okay, Mommy... Now I can help you with hiding the Easter eggs for the twins. That will be fun,’ she said. I just stared at her, then she reassured me, ‘Mommy—really, it’s alright.’

I sincerely did not know what to say, how to repair the heartbreak I had caused—I can be so dense in that way, in damage control. So I just kissed her head and stroked her hair and snuggled her up closer as we watched the rest of our cooking show in silence.

After a few quiet moments, Camille looked up at me and was wiggling her most recently loose tooth. Then she said earnestly, ‘You know, this is all okay because maybe I will lose this tooth and the tooth fairy will come tonight, then I'll never miss the Easter Bunny.’

Amen.

4 comments:

Ruth Hofmann said...

You are such a cow ....!

xx Ruth

Kimberly said...

{{{Jen}}}

Don't be too hard on yourself!

Camille will have just as much fun helping to BE the Easter Bunny!

Love the part about the tooth fairy! Too funny!
Kimberly

MichelleDaniel said...

My heart is breaking for you. But what an amazing daughter you have. How she comforted you and found the silver linings. But the best part is that she made it to the age of nine still believing. I have a seven year old who is starting to ask very leading questions and I'm struggling with keeping the magic alive without flat out lying to her.

I hope you aren't to hard on yourself. Of all the mythical characters we enchant our children with, the Easter Bunny is definitely the lamest.

Susan said...

This is so funny, I was having a talk with my 10 year old about the Easter Bunny the other day, I am sure she doesn't believe, because when she was very young she told us she didn't, she seems to have forgotten that. I believe we are in the stage of thinking "If I don't believe I won't get anything" I am trying to let her know everything will be okay without blowing it for her (or my husband...I think he will be the most upset when she admits to not believing) I loved the tooth fairy part...priceless