Thanks Easter Bunny
My middle child’s middle-ness shows up frequently. She’s acutely sensitive to unjustness, especially when sibling perpetrated. Likewise, my youngest fills his role expertly, issuing one-word commands (“Apple!” “Pencil!”) while we feverishly accommodate them. Conversely, the burdens of perfection and responsibility are lost on my eldest. She’s adopted instead the role of tough-love, world wise teacher to her younger siblings.
She was five when I first saw this. It was Easter season and my middle child asked, “Was the Easter Bunny God’s son?” Before I could respond, eldest was on the case.
“No, Jesus is God’s son. The Easter Bunny is Jesus’ best friend. They’re still good friends. They just can’t spend much time together because of work. I feel bad for Jesus since people like the Easter Bunny best. He’s just so relatable. I cried when I saw him at the mall last year because he’s so scary. He just sat there. He wasn’t mad or anything. He forgot what I wanted in my basket, but I didn’t mind. The Bunny has lots of responsibility. Most times he does fine. All Jesus has to do is go to church. The Easter Bunny’s a good guy. And he’s so chipper.” (This monologue’s recording is available on demand.)
I won’t articulate the relative merits and shortcomings of Jesus and/or the Easter Bunny. Plus, in the eight years since her Easter Bunny/Jesus monologue, my eldest’s views of both have shifted. Consequently, the who in her reference isn’t particularly relevant.
What’s relevant is she found and advocated for real and good connections – albeit to a large, hairy, pagan lupine. She appreciated the vulnerability associated with not always getting it right, but trying to again and again, even with others watching. She’s still a canary in the coal mine for authenticity and willingness to take emotional risks. She’ll call out a persona before the mask is on. It’s a nuisance if you want to hide in a role or guise occasionally.
I’m wondering how to better support our Easter Bunny selves. Not the hairy pagan parts, but the vulnerable parts willing to mess up and try again. The chipper attitude might be a reach.
Oakenroad. (Uploaded March 28, 2016). Easter Bunny visits a family. Retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/139701443@N04/25814648850
This blog first posted on April 11, 2017.