Easter, despite my best intentions
I should have known I was in trouble in early April, when Henry was showing Eli the calendar, and saying, “See, this is the 12th, and that’s Easter, and that’s the day that…” “That’s the day that what?” I said. Henry said, “You know!” I told him that I did not know. “You know, the day that the Easter Bunny hides eggs in our yard.”
Well. Yes. I did of course know about the Easter Bunny, but he has never exactly visited our yard before. And where did Henry get all the Easter Bunny info? Well, from Kindergarten, of course. Apparently Easter is an established unit in the curriculum. I sort of threw myself into a tizzy about this, because, frankly, we’ve never done much for Easter, and now it was clear I was going to have to do something, egg-hiding-wise. Also, is anyone else offended by introducing a Christian holiday into the public school curriculum? Or, more importantly, by the fact that apparently someone said that the Easter Bunny flies in on a giant chicken? And when Henry said that his teacher wasn’t exactly sure which day Earth Day is, I actually had to do an impromptu jig of upset and consternation, lest he think I was mad at him instead of the situation. I mean, I guess it’s nice that they’re learning about eggs, but isn’t, oh, I don’t know, SPRINGTIME just as good an excuse for some good old egg learnin’? And aren’t there roughly 1,000 excellent topics that could be introduced around Earth Day that don’t involve giant imaginary bunnies or religion in school? (Granted, they never mentioned Jesus in any of the Easter lessons, but at some point some kid is going to make the connection.)
I maintained my usual Easter ritual, which is dying eggs. We wrapped them in rubber bands, which we did last year too, and it makes them look groovy. I aspire to be one of those moms who dyes eggs using tea leaves and indigo plants I grow organically in my backyard, but in the meantime I’ll use PAAS. Plus, I don’t think indigo is hardy to Zone 4.
So then we were stuck with Easter morning, and with me stalwartly refusing to accept the Easter Bunny into our lives. And then Henry went upstairs and drew a gorgeously intricate paper egg, and said, “Maybe the Easter Bunny will have magic dust and can make this egg real! I’m going to put it in the backyard and wait.” Which sent Dave and I into the kitchen to have the following tensely whispered conversation:
Dave: I’m going out.
Julie: Where? Everything is closed. I think you’ll have to go to CVS.
Dave: That’s where I’ll go.
Julie: Then what?
Dave: I don’t know. I’m going to get something to hide in the backyard.
Julie: Don’t get candy!
Julie: What are you going to get?
Dave: I don’t know. He wants that egg to turn into a real egg.
Julie: What, you’re going to find a Fabergé egg at CVS?
Dave: Maybe. Do you have a better idea?
Julie: I was thinking we could make cupcakes.
Dave: What, and then hide them in the backyard?
Julie: I don’t know! Get coloring books.
Dave left and somehow managed to return within five minutes, carrying two perfect coloring books (tractors for Eli, dinosaurs for Henry) and a package of mini Cadbury eggs. I took the giant paper egg and thrust it into the arms of a stuffed bunny I happened to have in the basement (don’t ask), and we put the bunny and coloring books on the picnic table, and threw the Cadbury eggs onto the grass like we were naturalizing daffodils.
Then, in accordance with our general slow holiday framework, we waited. Finally, after about half an hour, Henry came downstairs with a piece of paper on which he’d drawn a submarine and cut out the peephole window, and he was planning to look through the window to spy Easter goodies. He got pretty excited about the lame backyard haul, and the dino book has been pretty sustaining.
And then of course I did make cupcakes with them. Lemon butterfly cupcakes! Make vanilla cupcakes, add 1 teaspoon lemon juice to the batter, plus zest if you have fresh lemons. After baking, cut off the top, spread the cupcake with lemon curd, cut the top part in half, sprinkle with powdered sugar, and stick into the curd like wings. Yum.
Is Easter going to happen in school every year? Do I have to be the Mom who ruins the Easter Bunny for all the other kids? Do I need to embrace the plastic and candy? (No to that last question.)