Growing up, my parents were pretty sloppy about their holidays lies. Mostly, they enjoyed sleeping more than I did. When I was six, I discovered my mom hiding Easter eggs in the backyard just before breakfast. Instead of confronting my parents, I quietly watched from my bedroom window, memorizing each of her hiding spots. I didn’t want to ruin the Easter Bunny for my younger brother, but I also didn’t want him to get any of the eggs.
So, when I mom shook me awake on Easter morning at age 7, I was surprised and suspicious.
“Wake up! Wake up! Come look out the window!” she said, pulling back my covers. At first, it sounded like a trap, but then I remembered it was a holiday and there may be gifts involved. I followed my mom and my brother to the dining room window.
The sun had just started to rise behind the tall evergreens in our backyard.
“Look!” she said. I searched the greenery for the neon eggs I’d been trained to find. “Under the tree!”
A giant white mass stirred under the pine tree. It bounced towards the window and stood up: a seven-foot-tall creature topped with a bulbous head and two wonky ears. It waved at us with its white mitten. My brother and I gasped, but for different reasons. The oversized rabbit slowly turned, without moving its neck, and hopped in a circle with great effort.
The tallest person I knew was my dad. It must be dad, I reassured myself.
Just as I was about to take a deep breath, my dad entered the room and exclaimed, “The Easter Bunny is in our yard!”
My stomach dropped.
“WHO IS THAT?!” I demanded, as my heart pounded. The white monster was facing the window again and waving. Its big, blank eyes followed me as I shrunk behind my mom.
“It’s the Easter bunny!” my parents shouted with pride. My brother grinned and waved back.
“WHO IS THAT?!” I shouted. Grandma and grandpa were too old to play dress up. I couldn’t think of anyone else. The backyard had always been my safe haven.
“It’s the Easter bunny! It’s just hopping through the neighborhood,” my parents said.
“TELL ME!” I shouted with tears welling in my eyes.
This where my parents made their second mistake.
“We don’t know who it is!” they said, finally acknowledging that I was too old to believe in the Easter Bunny. Unfortunately, they did not acknowledge the trauma of being ambushed by a seven foot rabbit regardless of age.
“WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU DON’T KNOW?!” I screamed.
Several hours later, after it was clear no amount of chocolate could justify the monster strolling through the backyard, my dad confessed the bunny was his co-worker. He definitely thought that would lessen my fears, but here I am, writing about it at age 33. Plus, have you seen Donnie Darko?!
This year, people around the world are spending Easter in isolation due to the pandemic. To be honest, I’m grateful. This is my fifth Easter in isolation due to mast cell disease and I’m tired of inciting pity and discomfort when I tell friends and co-workers that I spent a holiday alone. People assume spending holidays alone is the worst. It’s certainly not my first choice, but I also appreciate my holiday autonomy. I focus on activities I can enjoy, and abandon any traditions I don’t. Most importantly, I am safe from the Easter Bunny. (I shut my shades just in case.)
A few years after the Easter Bunny incident, my parents went out of town. They let me sleep over at a friend’s house. She loved animals as much as I did, but my parents wouldn’t let me have a pet.
When my parents came home from their trip, I met them at the front door with a large hat and wand in my hands.
“I learned a new magic trick while you were gone!” I gleamed. “Abracadabra!”
I waved my wand, reached into the hat, and pulled out a black and white mini lop.
“Isn’t that an awesome magic trick?” I asked my stunned parents. “He’s mine now!”
The karma of bunny magic.