April 25, 2014

Handling Our Kids’ Holiday Questions. ~ Jenifer DeMattia

Credit Ryan Vaarsi

Holidays have certainly changed since having children.

I remember when I was pregnant during Christmas thinking of how excited I was to feel the magic again. To live life vicariously through my children. The anticipation of coming down the stairs on Christmas morning. The butterflies that came with waking up and remembering that a basket full of goodies awaited me from the Easter bunny.

And then I had my son who at age 4 has taught me that basically holidays aren’t really worth all the hype, they just add a little more pizzazz to the day. The presents, the basket, all just cherries on top of an already pretty awesome life of endless possibilities.

I knew how my son felt about Santa being in our house while he slept, so I prepared him early for the news that the Easter bunny will once again be coming to the house during the evening to leave a basket for him.

Yep. Nothing had changed.

“I don’t want the Easter bunny to come in when I’m sleeping”, my son said in his best whine.

So it was agreed that the bunny would leave the basket on the front porch and would not, under any circumstances, enter the house.

Then there was the debacle about “what if the bunny rings the doorbell and wakes everyone up?” Then, “what if the bunny’s foot is too heavy and cracks the cement outside?” followed by, “does the bunny eat any of the candy? What color is this bunny anyway?” And finally, “maybe the bunny should just put the basket in the garage. No, the porch. No, the garage.”

Oh my God. Why is this so difficult?

When I was young I never questioned any magical thing that brought me toys and candy. Maybe it’s a good thing that my son questions things, but come on, I wanted to feel the magic. What happened to my living vicariously through my son fantasy? Why can’t he just enjoy the fun of it all?

So I decided I would at least try and tell him about why we celebrate Easter. I did the best I could but the sad truth is that it wasn’t the greatest explanation. I told him about Jesus Christ and that he died for all of our sins.

Then my son told me a rocket ship was about to blast off in 5..4..3..2..1. And he was gone.

We woke up Easter morning and my son came in my room as he always does. He told me to wake up and he asked me to turn on the TV and get him some chocolate milk. But I remembered today was no ordinary day. I knew about the basket I stayed up late setting up.

I felt it. I was excited!!

“Oh my goodness buddy, do you think the Easter bunny came and left you a basket?”

He looked at me with his thumb in his mouth and his fingers wrapped around his blanket.

“Maybe next year”, he replied, and then put his thumb back in his mouth.

Okay. So I went down, got the milk, and put on a pot of coffee. After a few cartoons, I reminded him of his basket again. He seemed dis-interested so I began asking if he remembered what I said about Jesus. Then I quickly realized that he just didn’t care.

We eventually went downstairs and he loved his basket, but he was quickly back in his own world again. Flying planes through the house and driving his train along the walls.

My boy is a very interesting guy. He says the Easter bunny brought his basket but he doesn’t say very much about it. He is just not the type of kid that can’t sleep because of the anticipation awaiting him the next morning. That’s not my Chase and that’s ok because whatever he was playing seemed thrilling and he was completely happy.

Later we went to his grandparent’s house for Easter dinner and basically all day I was talking about Easter. Reminding him of the special day. Talking about the bunny and the baskets. I talk to him all the time about things in hopes that he is listening.

Finally, at the end of the day I said again, “Do you remember why we celebrate Easter?”

He looked at me while running his hand down his snot covered face and said,

“Jesus Christ! Happy Easter bunny everybody!”

Aww. He was listening,

Sort of.


Apprentice Editor: Lauryn DeGrado / Editor: Renée Picard

Photo: Ryan Vaarsi/Flickr

Leave a Thoughtful Comment

Read 0 comments and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Jenifer DeMattia  |  Contribution: 1,800