Mar. 24, 2017

Mom, the Easter Bunny & Santa Claus

I remember going to visit the Easter Bunny when I was eight years old. My mother had allowed me to wear my Easter dress for pictures with him. I can still recall the dress. Unlike the traditional pastel colors, this was a simple yellow and white colored dress with a white sash belt attached to the skirt. In the center of the sash was a big yellow flower. I wore my white tights and black patent leather Mary Janes.

I had to be very careful putting on my tights and very careful while wearing them so as not to run them. They were the only pair I was going to have. I needed to take care of them for Easter so I could wear them again.

My mother had even rolled up my hair the night before so I could wear a new hair-do with my Easter outfit. I took meticulous care while dressing and even though I did not care for the results of my hair-do, I made very sure every hair was in place before leaving for the mall.

We went to Woodville Mall for the event. It was an hour before I was finally al-lowed to go stand in line with the other children to have my picture taken. Mom had drug me up and down the aisles many times past him, as she did all of her shopping. At last, she sat down on one of the benches and told me to go ahead and get in line.

I realize now that this was no easy feat for my mother as she was close to 450lbs. Just getting her to leave the house was a task much less walking around in a mall for an hour. They did not have motorized carts and scooters back in those days. Everything was a ‘get up and move on your own’ kind of thing.

I don’t know how long I was in line. It was probably about ten minutes, but to an anxious eight year old child who had anticipated this very moment, it felt like two hours. Either way, Mom had decided it was too much time for her to wait any longer and called me over to her.

As I approached she said, “I’m really tired so why don’t we go home and come back another time to get your picture taken with the Easter Bunny?”

If memory serves, I think Easter was going to be that coming Sunday and as I said, it was not easy to get my mother to leave the house. So I knew my chances were slim on her bringing me back. Then I thought to myself, what’s wrong with this woman? Is she crazy? I’m all dressed up for this. I even slept with curlers in my hair last night so I could take these pictures with the Easter Bunny. She’s got to be kidding me!

“No, I want to do it now while we’re here,” I answered, as all of these thoughts ran through my head simultaneously.

My mother sighed heavily and said, “But he’s not even real!”

Now, let’s be clear. I am no dummy. I could plainly see, as could any other levelheaded child, that whoever was sitting on the Easter Bunny’s throne was not real. However, I also rationalized that the Easter Bunny needed help so he sent out all of these imposters to pose for pictures while he stayed back at the Bunny Hutch preparing for his big day. Sheesh! Anyone with half a brain knew that!

I turned and looked back at the fake Easter Bunny and then back to my mother. “I know he’s not real, Mom, but I still want to get my picture taken with him.”

“It isn’t just that he’s not real,” she mused. “The Easter Bunny is not real. He doesn’t exist at all.”

“What do you mean?” I asked, looking again from the fake bunny to my mother.

“Just what I said,” she reiterated. “He’s fake. He’s make-believe. He does not exist.”

Suddenly, a thought occurred to me. As I said, I’m no dummy. “What about Santa Claus?”

Nonchalantly, as if we were discussing chocolate bunnies and not in the process of shattering all of my childhood misconceptions, she replied effortlessly, “Fake.”

“The tooth fairy?”

My mother sighs with boredom. “Fake.”

I was crushed, but I was also angry. With defiance, I got back in line to take my picture with the faker-Easter-Bunny-that-did-not-exist-ever! As I stood there waiting for the picture, I realized this would be my last picture I would ever take with him, real or not.

Even now, I cannot decide if I was more angry over being tricked or if it was because my mother chose that particular time to devastate me. I’m leaning more toward the timing of the news and not so much at being tricked.

Nonetheless, I do know that because of that specific time – that particular event; it is the reason I have a deep seeded love for the fictional character of Santa Claus. It’s almost like this is my way of defying my mother’s selfish motivation. Although I’ve never again had my picture taken with the Easter Bunny, I have had many snapshots of me and Santa over the years. He is by far, my favorite Christmas character.

Thanks, Mom.