The Easter Bunny

When Elijah was in preschool I was asked one year to be the Easter bunny for the “Friends At Play” children’s Easter celebration.  I laughed at the idea, but decided it would be fun and very quickly agreed.  Elijah was the cutest little four-year old in his Easter shorts and shirt and so excited about the egg hunt that was planned for that day.  I dropped him off at preschool and walked him inside, as normal, and then left to change into a huge, fuzzy, sweltering rabbit costume.

It was a perfect day outside.  The sun was shining and the temperature was a lovely mid-70’s as opposed to the temperature inside that costume which was every bit the equivalent of being in the 9th level of hell.  I waited off in a side room until I was given “the okay” by school staff and was taken around to each of the three classrooms to see the children.  I wasn’t supposed to speak- bunnies after all do not talk- so I hopped and bounced and hugged and waved my hands about in excited shows of expression.  Most of the kids were very excited about seeing the Easter bunny, but there were a few who seemed a bit overwhelmed by the fluffy white costume.  I let them fall back behind their teachers and didn’t push my luck with them.  I didn’t want to contribute to any undue childhood trauma which may result in a visit to a therapist in their adult years, but it seemed that as they watched and saw that the Easter bunny was harmless and just being silly and giving out hugs most of them came around.

Elijah’s was the second classroom that I came to.  He’s always tried to be a brave little thing, but as his mamma I know that there are still a few situations that make him nervous.  He watched me interact with a few of the other kids before he came to check out the Easter bunny for himself, but when he did he threw those little arms around my leg and squeezed out the biggest hug.  I realize that I’m a little biased considering I carried this child inside me for 9 months, but honestly I don’t know a little boy with a sweeter heart and more love for his mother than my ‘Lijah.  He makes me melt every time I see him and the words that come out of his mouth “I’ll miss you mamma” or “I love you mamma” have always made my heart full.  (I love Miss Ava just as much, but this blog is about Eli.  Ava will have her own story next.) 🙂

I bent down and hugged him right on his level and it took everything I had inside me not to blurt out, “Eli, it’s ME!  It’s your mom!” I knew I could never reveal this little secret.  As long as my children still believe in these magical creatures I’m going to let them.  I think it’s a fun part of childhood, one that I enjoyed as a kid, and I want them to get to have that experience.  They are smart children and I know it won’t last long.  Eventually the concept of Santa or the Easter bunny will melt away, but as long as they still have that little spark of “believe” in them I’m not going to extinguish it.  I wouldn’t dare.

The Easter bunny, children, teachers, and several parent helpers all moved outside to prepare for the egg hunt.  My job was to sit in a designated spot and each child would be brought to me and set on my lap to have pictures taken and included in an Easter card which each child was making for their parents.  I sat, sweating away, in the huge fuzzy costume as each child was brought to me and our picture was made.  It was interesting to me that this was the first time in my life I was in front of a camera for numerous pictures and I didn’t have to smile.  When the first child was placed with me our photographer Susan said, “Smile for me!” and I smiled a big smile and then realized no one can see my face underneath this 20-pound bunny head!  She was telling the kids to smile.  I think during one point in the middle of taking pics with the second class of 4-year-olds I actually started making faces under my bunny head.  Who was ever gonna know?!

When it was Eli’s turn to sit with me I wrapped my arms around him and he snuggled into me.  He smiled a sweet smile and we had our picture taken.  It was interesting to me that throughout the afternoon he would keep finding his way back to me.  He’d hug me or sit with me more than any other child in his group did.  One of the teachers even came up to me and quietly commented, “It’s almost like he knows it’s you in there.”  This thought brought the biggest smile to my face. 

As a parent you always want your children to know that you love them.  I’ve never experienced love so full of meaning as I did when I first became a parent.  There’s nothing to compare it to.  In an instant you would give your life for this tiny creature you’ve just met, but it’s like your souls have a connection that is beyond explanation.  I felt this other-worldly love with each of my children.  Even when they were still inside my stomach I would talk to them and read to them and sing to them.  What a tremendous gift motherhood is.  Without a doubt my proudest accomplishment.  I feel so blessed that God would allow me the privilege of watching over these two little ones during their time here on earth.  I know what great responsibility comes with being charged in that role.  I have thanked Him for allowing me to watch these two which from birth already belong to Him.

I would hope all through their lives both Eli and Ava will know beyond a doubt that the love I feel for them sometimes is so overwhelming I feel it could cause my heart to explode.  I’ve made mistakes as a parent.  I’ve learned through challenges that I’ve faced and that my little family has gone through, but the adoration and love I feel for these babies has always been a sweet constant in my life since their arrivals. 

That day in the Easter bunny costume I realized that no matter what happens in life- no matter time or distance, harmony or dissention, me as me or me in a bunny costume- I always hope my children will know the love I have for them.  I want them to feel it as something palpable.  I hope they do.


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. elfinfun
    Apr 04, 2012 @ 16:34:03

    Amen. Amen. And another amen.

    I am amazed that Gid even saw
    Me fit to parent my two elves as well.

    Beautifully written “Peter Cottontail”. 😉



  2. Lela Anderson
    Apr 14, 2012 @ 15:14:32

    Love your stories Amanda, very well written. Keep them coming.



  3. larry rothschild
    Apr 20, 2012 @ 18:52:25

    i was the easter bunny at the mall in nj hear i logged over 40 hrs in the costume,yes very warm but fun,and i was a female bunny



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