This was submitted by Lillian Sanderson, midwest mother of five grown children and grandmother of ten.
Keep the Magic and the Smiles
Every holiday brings back some memory of my five children.
Easter always makes me remember my oldest daughter, Linda, as a very inquisitive toddler. She is a third grade teacher and the mother of an eight-year-old boy now, and I am sure she is tired of hearing me tell of her non-stop curiosity about the Easter Bunny.
This was one of those times that as a mom I was trying to keep the magic going, but for this little girl, that was just not working. I was a young mom and wanted my firstborn child to laugh at, not analyze, the silly traditional Easter Bunny
She asked a few questions about when the Easter Bunny would come and what he would bring…the usual sort of questions. My answers seemed to make her a bit anxious and she would look very serious for a minute and come up with something else to ask.
“Is this like the bunnies in our backyard? Or is he big like a person?”
“Does he wear clothes?”
“Does he talk?”
Then, haltingly, with her big blue eyes wide she asked the last one:
“How does he get in our house???”
This was when I decided that as much as I love the wonder of the Easter Bunny, the tooth fairy, and even dear old Santa Claus, maybe there was a way to keep it magic and yet not scare the beejeebers out of sensitive children.
So, when any of my five children began to question and seem doubtful about these childhood visitors, I would tell them that they are very real, but in a symbolic way.
The spirit of love and giving that we call the spirit of Christmas is personified in Santa Claus. The spirit of hope and rebirth each spring is personified in the Easter Bunny.
I explained that little children cannot understand these concepts easily, so grown-ups made these wonderful examples to make the holidays meaningful for even the littlest ones. They would happily keep the secret for the younger children, feeling very smart to understand this abstract idea.