This past Sunday was my fifteenth appearance as an Easter Bunny mom. It's been a few years since either of my egg hunters has believed in a magic bunny. Still, I shopped, planned and prepped pretty much as I always have. My concern about about choking hazards has fallen by the wayside, and and the egg hunt began several hours later than when the youngsters excitedly awoke at dawn. Otherwise, it was Easter Tradition as usual.
My egg hunters have seen enough Easters that they are no longer be amazed by the sudden appearance of brightly colored eggs in the yard, nor are they astonished by the bounty they hold. I dearly miss their shrieks of joy and wide-eyed looks of wonder. I choked back tears, as I compared their toddler jubilation with their more half-hearted efforts this year.
Then I reminded myself that I'm glad they've showed up for the hunt at all. Neither one protested that they are "too old" for it now. They still hunt with interest and a mildly competitive edge. Even if the attitude suggests nonchalance, I don't feel that any of us are ready to give up this tradition.
I remember all too well my first Easter after I had discovered "the truth" about the Easter bunny. My well-meaning mom had asked if I wanted to help her assemble the Easter baskets, which would still be a source of wonder and surprise for my younger sister. I eagerly accepted this opportunity to peak behind the curtain.
And then I regretted that I had. The wonder of Easter basket magic was forever stripped away, like pulling the curtain away from the Wizard of Oz. I wish I had opted to play along for a few more Easters. It is this memory that keeps me filling baskets and eggs for my kids who long ago discovered "the truth." Maybe it's no mystery who delivers the goodies, but it's a family tradition. I like to think that it's the kind that assures them that I'll be here, no matter how old they get.
When I allow myself to let go of comparing this Easter egg hunt experience with those of their younger years, I realize that I wouldn't want them to be any other way than as they are. The tight wrap on emotion and the lack of surprise simply demonstrate that all is well with their evolution and maturation into wise and worldly humans.
Truly, there are gifts at every age. We now share a love of cynical humor that is beyond the grasp of an innocent toddler. My son creates digital music using tools and skills that require a finesse and intelligence I can't quite fathom. My daughter paints and decorates cakes with an artistry not demonstrated in her preschool works. They both possess a unique and wise perspective of the world, and I'm thrilled to be witness and to support their unique evolutions.
I can enjoy the best of both worlds when I both remember with love their childlike innocence and marvel with awe at the evolution of their many gifts and abilities. Suffice to say this Easter bunny mom will be hiding eggs in the yard for years to come, if only for the opportunity to savor the memories of Easters past. Who knows? I might not even wait until Easter. I might just be that old lady wandering the yard in her housecoat, chatting with her memories - and surprising herself to find that there are brightly colored plastic eggs in the yard.