Monday, April 09, 2007

Easter In An Eggshell

Easter is over, thank god. I've never been a huge fan of Easter so I'm happy to have it behind me. And since I'm not a religious sort, the "holiday" really has very little meaning for me other than as a celebration of Spring, which is how I'm now choosing to view it. Re-birth of the flowers and plants and all that versus the Christian story of Jesus rising from the dead.

We did all the culturally-sanctioned activities like decorating eggs and hunting for them. Fun times. At our house, the Easter Bunny hides your basket and you mus
t find it if you want to eat the goodness it contains. I grew up with that tradition and loved it, so it's fun for me to share it with my kids. Except this year I was robbed of the fun of assembling their Easter baskets. My father-in-law's wife did it for me. They've been married as long as Mr. Chick and I have been and she's a very nice lady. She lives in the same city, but we never, ever see her. She never comes over with FIL, who lives several hundred miles away, actually. He'll come up for an Opera or something, see her for the weekend, and then stay a night at our house before heading back home. It's a strange, strange relationship - don't ask me to explain it. So he ends up coming over by himself. She'll send gifts for the kids with him instead of bringing them by herself. And they're usually really nice - I usually really like the things she gets for them.

This year, she sent him with bags of Easter stuff a few weeks ago. I wasn't home when he arrived so I didn't get to see everything at the time. The bag(s) were stashed in the garage and not looked at until the night before Easter. After we got the kids down to bed I went to the garage to get the bags, having seen only that Easter baskets were involved. I grabbed the bag, so two baskets each containing several small toys and a small chocolate bunny. Very appropriate. And very stealing my thunder. The baskets were labeled from "the bunny" and everything! I didn't have to do a single thing for my kids for easter - not one jelly bean or Peep did I have to buy. Nothing. So I was a little miffed, having been thwarted from putting together baskets for my own kids. I could have done it myself anyway, I suppose, and just doubled-up some, but that seemed like waaayyy too much for the kids. So I was denied the privilege beyond hiding the baskets she provided.

The kids found
their baskets and dived into them. They loved them. And they were thankfully short on candy. Lauren enjoyed a chocolate breakfast. Nicholas at least ate a hard-boiled Easter egg. We had a small Easter egg hunt in our house for REAL eggs that the Easter Bunny hid all over. Later, we went to my sisters place for Easter brunch and another egg hunt in her backyard - this time for plastic eggs filled with pennies and small candies. A great time was had by all.

When we got home Nicholas remembered that a few weeks prior his Opa had brought a bag of easter stuff for them (damn his remarkable memory!) I thought I'd already given the kids what
Opa had brought over in the form of baskets from the Easter Bunny, so I was panicky that now Nicholas was determined to go find the bag that Opa had brought over. He was sure it was in the garage. I managed to scope it out - just in case - before he did and was shocked to find 2 MORE BAGS, each with another basket in them, that I'd missed the night before. I didn't realize he'd brought 3 bags (4 baskets). My first thought was one of relief - now Nicholas could "find" the bags from Opa and enjoy another gift, followed quickly by, "crap!" when I saw that the baskets still in the garage were both "girlie" baskets and had many of the same toys contained in the baskets the kids had gotten from the Easter Bunny. How to explain the coincidence??

Turns out, the baskets I'd grabbed the night before were both meant for Nicholas, and the ones I didn't see were for Lauren. But the first baskets I'd grabbed each had a chocolate bunny and one had a pair of Spiderman socks in Lauren's size, so I made an assumption. Bad assumption. Thankfully, the kids are still very gullible and didn't seem to question that their Opa had gotten Lauren the VERY SAME BUBBLE GUM TOY that the Easter Bunny had brought for Nicholas. Amazing!

But let me ask you this? Would you be annoyed if someone else pre-assembled not just 2, but 4 Easter baskets for your kids, 2
intentionally meant to be from the Easter Bunny and the other 2 meant as gifts from them? ON PURPOSE taking the role of essentially playing Easter Bunny to your kids, in absentia, without you requesting help or offering up that job? Doesn't it seem a bit presumptuous? What's next - playing Santa Claus, too? Sending gifts labeled "To Lauren, From Santa"? Or taking over the Tooth Fairy job? It sort of frustrates me. This lady, FIL's wife, never had kids and may not realize that she's stealing thunder. She might not understand that keeping up the farce, encouraging the magic and wonder of these mythical entities, is some of the biggest fun for the parents. She could easily be thinking that she's being nice and helpful and fun in doing this. I'm sure her intentions are good, which is why I'm keeping my big, fat mouth shut on this and not saying anything.

Would you be thrilled to be free of the obligation, or annoyed that someone else took over? While you mull that over, enjoy some photos from our Easter weekend.

Why did she send 4 baskets anyway? I guess this was kind of like your Mom taking Nicolas school supply shopping - one of the privledges of being a Mom stolen away. Sigh.....relatives. Sometimes they mean well I guess.
If it bothered me as much as it seems to have bothered you, I would have donated the baskets to children who are not so fortunate,with parents who worry about whether their children would get anything at all, and just gave them the ones I did.
As for Nicolas finding the extra baskets, why not just
say "Oh, it looks like the bunny was so busy, she accidently left some of the basket meant for other children. Let's make sure they make it to the right place by dropping them at the local church orhomeless shelter."
OH, I'd be so irritated. We added pieces from the grandparents IN TO the baskets we got, but I wanted to play Bunny here. Yaknow?
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