Sunday, April 01, 2012

There Is A Rabbit In The House

I don't know if it was the gold foil.

Or the red ribbon.

Or the little bell.

Whatever it was, it caught her eye.

And do you know what I did?

What I'm really proud of?

I kept my mouth shut.

To me, Easter is a religious holiday not a secular one. In my own liturgical calender it's the most important day of the year. As a result I don't 'do' Easter Bunny's and Easter Eggs, and, if you can believe it, I've never even had a Cadbury's Easter Creme Egg. So as a result Joe and I celebrate Easter quietly. For a fat guy, who loves chocolate, you know that this is a fairly radical belief system. I don't preach about it. Don't make a big deal about it. Keep it pretty much to myself.

Then Ruby's little finger pointed to a Lindt bunny and said, 'I've never had one of those in my whole life.' Even the longing and the excitement in her voice couldn't budge my sudden need to explain to her my whole philosophy of Easter. After all, she's five. She's a captive audience. Even more, she's still at an age where she listens and considers, deeply, what I have to say.


She's five.

I dug down deep.

Found the strength.

And said, 'Really, never, ever, in your whole life?' She shook her head sadly.As if five long years worshiping the golden bunny from afar was a torture hard to bear. So we chatted happily about her hopes for Easter, her love of Chocolate, and her anticipation of the arrival of the Easter Bunny. I loathe the whole idea of the Easter Bunny. But we talked about the furry Easter Interloper anyways.

You see, something I've learned.

It isn't always about me.

There are boundaries I need to respect.

A little girls excitement about Chocolate Bunnies is one of those things.

She needs me to respect her view of the world from time to time. She has lots of time to grow up. Lot's of time for serious discussions about faith. She even has lots of room to disagree with old curmudgeon's like me. A guy who would eat chocolate every day of the year EXCEPT Easter Sunday.

So today, we picked up four Golden Bunny Rabbits. One for Mom and one for Dad and one for Sadie and one for her. Her time in the desert is over - she will not live another year without having had a foil covered confection.

And I'm good with that.

What I'm really good with is that ...

I kept my mouth shut.


Anonymous said...

When I was a kid, Santa didn't come to our house. We had presents, but they were from Mom and Dad. My mom didn't want "Santa" to get credit for what they had saved to buy.

When I was a parent, the presents came from Mom and Dad too, but I never felt the need to say there wasn't a Santa. When my son was around five, he asked with big eyes, if there really was a Santa? I asked him if he wanted Santa to be real?

Sometimes Fairy tales, Santas, and Easter bunnies are ok.

You can have a nice religious holiday and still have room for chocolate, especially when you are five.


Anonymous said...

Oh Dave,

the Lindt Bunnys are soooooo delicious and the little bell has such a nice tingeling sound and is especial in itself when it is the only thing left from the bunny...

When I was small my parents had only little money and wishes and presents were safed for special occasions. Today wie changed that; knowing that every day could be the last one to enjoy something wie often buy something or eat something without something special to celebrate.

Yesterday my Mom bought me a package of two little golden Lindt Bunnys with a pink champagne-heart added, just because she knew how much I would love it. Love and enjoyment are the biggest reason to celebrate in this life!

Have a happy Day!


Colleen said...

Dear Dave:

Congratulations on keeping your mouth shut. I can tell you from experience theological discussions with 5 year olds can get pretty tricky - you certainly have to have your full wits about you. Talking to learned scholars is nothing to a theology discussion with a 5 year old!


Rachel Douglas said...


Louise said...

And now you've thought about what Ruby needed, how about playing with the idea that you can celebrate the Resurrection AND eat chocolate eggs? Or bunnies. Prayers and so on for Easter, chocolate for Spring and the sign it is to the world of new life.......
Just an idea!

Janelle said...

You made a wonderful choice. Not an easy one, but she'll have years to understand your position on gold-foiled bunnies and such. Your position makes great sense, but gifting someone with their heart's desire is pretty great too. Thanks for sharing this.

Belinda said...

Bravo for you and the bunny! I admire your convictions and also your flexibility in application! :)

Myrrien said...

I respect your opinions there Dave. The way we were taught in the Church of Scotland was that the egg shape represented the stone rolling away. I have never had a problem with a chocolate egg and especially a Cadbury's Creme egg ever since lol

Anonymous said...

Gee, I've never seen bells on the Lindt bunnies here in the U.S.

I really like your last sentence, Sharon. Thank you for summing it up so nicely.


wheeliecrone said...

Well done, Dave. Well done, you.

Anonymous said...

Good for you Dave and for Ruby for getting one of those really yummy bunnies. I do think that you need to try a Cadbury Creme Egg just once, don't eat it on Easter Sunday and call it a spring egg but seriously from one chocolate lover to another, you are missing out!

Cole said...

Dave, I have learned so much from you ever since I first heard of you almost 20 years ago in college and my disability studies. But this post- this post spoke volumes to me about a certain couple of little girls in my home and heart and the need to respect their little hearts. And it had nothing to do with disability. Love, love, love this.

liz said...

Now I'm all verklempt.

Ettina said...

Easter is *not* a Christian holiday. It's a pagan celebration of spring that the Christians co-opted. That's why the bunnies and eggs - rabbits breeding and birds laying eggs are both signs of spring.

Team Lando said...

I was thinking about this a lot at Christmas - as I threw a party that featured beer wearing reindeer antlers and also participated in the traditions of advent and Christmas... but I get where St. Nick comes from. While Ellie will get an Easter basket, I still am trying to figure out what the heck chocolate has to do with the risen Christ.

I plan to go to church with my family. And eat a Cadbury egg. But I still have questions about the dual nature of the holidays!

Anonymous said...

I seem to remember something about Joe getting a rabbit ear surprise himself one Easter????? LOL And I consider Lindt to be a Gift directly from the gods....Cadbury creme eggs not worth the calories too sticky sweet for me......Whatever you believe spring is a time for renewal of hope and Ruby and Sadie and been reassured yet again that winter is over and with you hope (and goodies) spring eternal....
Have a GREAT day

Kasie said...

I think you did the right thing.

Princeton Posse said...

I agree with Liz! I find it touching that you are so considerate of Ruby & Sadie's feelings. They are lucky girls.

CapriUni said...

@Ettina -- Actually, Easter is both Pagan and Christian, depending on whether the person celebrating is Pagan or Christian. ;-)

And this year, it will also be my Mother's birthday (Well may she be remembered). I think it was from her that I learned the following joke:

Jesus was in Heaven, watching over all of us on Earth. And his heart was heavy. Because everywhere
He looked, He saw people using His name to condemn each other for who they loved, or how they worshiped Him. And He sighed, and thought to himself:

"I think, next time, I'll go back as a Rabbit!"

So, perhaps, Dave, you can now think of all those chocolate bunnies as a reminder of how Jesus expects us to be loving, forgiving, and respectful of the Other. ... How love can also be fun, and tied with a pink ribbon.