I cannot believe how quickly my kids are growing up...I look at them, and I can still see my sweet, soft babies...but then, they open their mouths and I am astonished at what they already realize. And a little bit afraid.
I love holidays. I love the decorating, the cooking, the celebrating...and I especially love the tender and fun traditions and stories that we use to introduce our kids to the concept of the holidays...and then you know, hook them for life. I firmly believe that, but getting them interested and excited about the more secular aspects of the holidays they will be more apt to listen and absorb the true "reason for the season". Being something of a perfectionist and a control freak (hey, I am embracing it this week), I have anxiously and doggedly pursued a careful consistency in our stories and traditions from year to year.
Seriously, I have sat my husband down and demanded that we have a serious conversation about how Christmas and Easter and such would go down in our home:
Me: "Honey, we really need to talk...we need to figure out how exactly we are going to broach the subject of Santa."
He: "We do?"
Snarky look shot here.
He: "Right. We do."
I have cited the importance of making sure that we decide what our family traditions are before the kids are able to remember things being done differently or not at all. I have whined about needing to make sure that we do it exactly-the-same-way each year to throw the kids off the scent...you know, coordinate our alibis...
All this, in the pursuit of extending their innocence about it for as long as possible...hey, I don't want to be the only one excited about the prospect of Santa and the Easter Bunny...that, and I would hate to lose the "Santa is watching..." threat from my discipline arsenal. As far as my kids are concerned, every store that has a video surveillance camera in it is actually taping their behavior and broadcasting it *straight to the Easter Bunny and Santa* - ALL YEAR LONG. (feel free to use that one yourself) I hoped that, by being rigorous in our commitment to the story we would be able to milk a good 7, 8, 30 years out of it.
But then I guess I was thinking we had someone else's kids. You know, kids that aren't having all-nighters in their rooms the minute we go downstairs....
This Easter season has been peppered with portents that the end is near.
4 Days before Easter, in Walmart:
Sebastian: "Mom, is the Easter Bunny real? Or is it just some guy in a bunny suit?"
Me: "Where did you hear such a thing?"
Sebastian: "Nowhere, but..."
Me: "Look honey, soccer balls!" Redirect-redirect-redirect....
3 Days before Easter, in Giant.
Sabrina: "Will we look for eggs outside?"
Me: "Hmmm, probably not honey, it's going to be cold...but don't worry, the Easter Bunny can hide the eggs inside like last year."
Sabrina: "The Easter Bunny didn't hide our eggs...Aunt Robyn did. While we were at church."
Me: "Look honey, milk!" Redirect-redirect-redirect....
Sabrina: (She is my stubborn one...) "Well, I guess maybe the bunny could have come after we left and before she got there...but...I don't know. Maybe she saw him? I should ask her. Can we call Aunt Robyn????"
Me: "Maybe when we get home..."
2 Days before Easter, while in line for Easter Bunny Pictures.
Sebastian: "Mom, is that a real bunny or a guy in a bunny suit?"
47 pairs of children's eyes fix on me, breathlessly awaiting my next words. 90 pairs of grown-up eyes glare at me warningly. Shit.
Me: "That's the Easter Bunny honey."
Sabrina: (cause she has to get in on this action too) "Yeah, but is the Easter bunny a rabbit or a guy in a bunny suit...his hands look like people hands, in bunny gloves."
Sebastian: "Yeah, and his eyes don't blink."
Me: "Well, umm, the Easter Bunny is magic...look kids, it's our turn."
Frankly, I am exhausted by these exchanges...and I was sort of blue, imagining what the incredulous reaction might be on Easter morning, when they went down and saw the eggs hidden. I was afraid that I was going to get called out on my lame hiding tactics. Thankfully the soft, sweet, baby parts of them prevailed and the excitement of finding eggs hidden overrode, even if only temporarily, whatever seeds of doubt they have planted about who is really doing the hiding.
Somehow I don't think we will make it to 7.