Have some standards, Easter Bunny.

When I was a kid, the Easter Bunny came to my house. He brought my sister and I Easter baskets with jelly beans, chocolate eggs, hollow chocolate bunnies, and small outdoor toys: wooden airplanes, bubbles, chalk, maybe a kite.

He also hid the eggs we had colored.

Apparently, the Easter Bunny doesn’t pull the same routine everywhere. This would have been good to know before I tried to make Easter happen the first year the kids were living with us.

Me: So what do you guys do for Easter?

CC: I dunno, that was their mom’s holiday. I did Christmas. She took care of Easter.

That first year we made a big effort and had the Easter baskets ready when they woke up in the morning.

#1: What’s all this?

Me: Easter baskets. From the Easter Bunny.

#1: Why did the “Easter Bunny” come so early?

Me: What do you mean?

#1: He usually doesn’t come until after church.

Me: {feelings of guilt for doing it wrong, followed by double feelings of guilt for not being a church-going parent} Oh. Well, we can’t go to church because we have to work. Maybe that’s why he came early?

#1: {with heavy note of sarcasm, not really interested in keeping the magic alive} Yeah, usually we would be in the car to go to church like waaay early, and my mom would suddenly remember that she forgot something in the house, and she’d go back inside for like fifteen minutes, and then when we got home from church the “Easter Bunny” would have miraculously delivered the Easter baskets.

Me: Easter is all about the miracles.

That whole forgetting something in the house thing sounded like a good plan. I wondered if I could try it next year. It would probably mean more sleep.

It was when I tried to orchestrate the egg hunt that everything truly fell apart.

Should we hide the eggs inside or outside? The house we were renting wasn’t very big. Also the thought of an indoor hunt terrified me because I’m not known for my housekeeping and it was highly possible that an egg would be hidden and never, ever found. This was before we had dogs. (In retrospect, this was a very valid concern, due to the things I did¬†find when we finally moved, including more than one sandwich under a bed and a sticky rubber octopus in a light fixture that I couldn’t reach).

So we decided outside, which led to the next hard part: when to hide them. If you hide them outside too early, they’ll get eaten by things. If you do it too late, the kids will see you and the cover is blown.

What I didn’t count on is that if you’re not raised with the belief that the Easter Bunny hides the eggs, nothing will convince you otherwise.

For reasons I don’t fully comprehend, it’s much easier for them to adapt beliefs surrounding Christmas and Santa, but regarding the Easter Bunny, it truly is like converting to another religion.¬†Santa at least carries on the spirit of “peace on earth, good will towards man.” The connection between Jesus and Santa is a stretch, but passable in the minds of most kids, especially because of the presents at the end.

The Easter Bunny is nebulous. He has neither sidekicks nor clearly delineated responsibilities. His connection to the tomb is nonexistent. It would be a far enough cry to connect the Easter Bunny with Ostara, but I get it, based on the abundant fertility of bunnies. But connecting the Easter Bunny with Jesus? It would make more sense to have an Easter Zombie. Which my kids would probably relate to better anyway.

Standards. The Easter Bunny needs some goddamn standards.

They’d never done an egg hunt at home. The only egg hunts they had done were at churches or parks with other large groups of kids and they were super-competitive. We tried to hide some easy ones and let them stagger the start youngest to oldest. That only made #1 head immediately to the front, where she found every single front-hidden egg while all her siblings were occupied in the back.

And? They were largely disappointed that only real eggs were hidden. There were supposed to be eggs filled with candy. There were supposed to be eggs filled with money.

Where’s the spec sheet for this holiday? None of this makes any sense.

In spite of me, my kids are good people. They’re forgiving and fun-loving enough that they don’t mind too much if a holiday is different, and they each have a spark of that weird, dark humor that their Dad and I find so endearing. Thankfully, there are a lot of good people looking out for them that not only will steer them away from the Easter Zombie, but who will still speak to me even though I brought it up.

They did get #1 back for finding all the eggs: