“Mom, is the Easter Bunny real?”
Shut the front door!
No! No, no, no, nooooo! I am not ready for him to ask this question. He is nine. My sweet boy is nine years old. I am so thankful that we’ve made it this far into his childhood and kept the magic of Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny alive and flowing. I should be grateful. I should look into his sweet blue eyes, and tell him the truth. We believe in God. We teach our kids what these holidays are really about and we teach them to be honest, assure them that we will always be honest with them.
“Of course he is, Baby. Why do you ask?”
Now, I’m about to lie my ass off. I’m fully prepared to commit fraud on a level I’ve not, yet, reached as a parent. The sparkle in my babies’ eyes as they anticipate Santa or the Easter Bunny only lasts for a moment. When that sparkle fades, I’ll know that they’ve moved on from being my little boys and taken steps toward being men. I am going to do everything in my power to keep their innocence alive and sweet and powerfully engaged for as long as I am able, so help me God.
So. Help me. Help me, God. Help me LIE!
For every reason my children have ever come up with to disbelieve the magic of their childhood I’ve always countered. Found an Easter basket where it shouldn’t be? That tricky Bunny is trying to throw you off. What a funny Bunny! Santa hid your gift somewhere else? How much fun is he? Scavenger hunt! The Tooth Fairy forgot you, Sweetheart? Are you sure you looked everywhere? Oh! Here is your dollar. It fell under your bed. I’m sure she left your tooth this time because she knows I really wanted to save that one for your Baby Book. She is really thoughtful.
Am I going to the extreme?
Do I feel guilty?
All the nopes.
Which brings us to last night at the grocery store when the couple behind us walked up with their cart of Easter basket fillings and I barely stopped myself from begging under my breath to please not murder the Easter Bunny right in front of my son on Register 15. Just get in another line for the love of God! Instead, I silently plotted the whopper I would tell him when he asked the question I could see forming as he stared at their chocolate bunnies and Peeps and static filled plastic grass.
“But, Mom? If the Easter Bunny is real, why are they buying all of that Easter basket stuff?”
“Oh, Honey,” I replied easily, “I overheard them saying their niece and nephew are visiting. They are making baskets for them. You know? Like Grandma makes stockings for all of you guys at Christmas?”
*Silently, turn and mean mug the evil Bunny Murderers. They are frightened, but it is too late.*
My boy nodded, comforted and once again secure in his beliefs. Trusting his mother.
Oh, yeah. I’m a liar. I’d do it again.