I am usually all about any holiday that has food involved and would never turn my nose up at a good Easter spread. But it's all the other nonsense that comes with Easter that I can't and never could tolerate. Mostly because I can't make sense of it. When Jesus arose from the tomb was there a man dressed up as a giant rabbit waiting to greet him with plastic Easter grass in one hand and colored eggs in the other? Were there multitudes of children running around yelling "Hey mister, you didn't forget the candy, did you? Where are the peeps? I like the blue ones best!" I just don't get the connection. Even as a small child it made no sense to me. I liked the getting a new dress and shoes for church every Easter, but the hunting egg part after church was so stupid to us that we usually skipped out the backdoor and down the street to Grandma's house before any parents could even register that we were gone. Grandpa knew this and always left the back door unlocked for us. We didn't have a lot of self control at that age so many times when the family finally all filed in for the big Easter spread there were chunks missing from the ham, missing deviled eggs that my aunt had so lovingly arranged to look "pretty", not a fried chicken leg left for any stupid child that had stayed to hunt eggs, etc. Then someone always drug out those stupid Easter baskets for us kids. I hated the hollow chocolate rabbit and would only eat his bow tie, eyes and nose, I can't stand peeps in any color or shape, the gold wrapped coins meant nothing if they could not be spent on good candy. Then the jelly beans, I don't think there is a candy on earth I hate more than jelly beans and they would scatter them all through the basket. The other kids liked to sit by me while going through the baskets though, I would toss those jelly beans and gold wrapped coins over my shoulder every time I found one, praying that just one Easter someone would put some decent damn candy in the basket it rarely happened and mine was usually left laying outside somewhere with the mutilated chocolate rabbit still in it surrounded by mashed peeps that had gotten in the way of my digging through the plastic grass for any good stuff.
Then I grew up and had my first child. Easter rolls around and he was only 7 months old so I still felt nothing except buying the new outfit for church. Then the second Easter rolls around and it hits me. I have to color some eggs, put a basket together and then hide these eggs in a way that a 19 month old can find them. I even bought the giant hollow chocolate rabbit, although I did eat the bow tie, the eyes and it's nose so he wouldn't choke on it, even though the child had a mouth full of razor sharp teeth. So there I am coloring eggs and I realize that it is no more fun for me doing it for my child than it was when I was a child. I still hated all the Easter trappings except the dinner and church. So much so that by the time I got to the plastic grass mess I was in tears and calling my Mom. If she had not so kindly offered to take over all the, what I call, Easter mess, every year after that for me then my son would have been an only child. Just the thought of having to deal with that mess for more than one child would have been enough to shut down my own eggs to prevent fertilization.
But then the military interferes with my Easter plan and I realize I am not always going to be home during Easter or even close enough to drive back home for my Mom to handle this mess. Only now, based on my Mom's promise, I have given birth to a second child. I quickly realized I could throw an Easter party, provide all the adult food and there was always some idiot Mom that loved coloring and hiding eggs and making Easter baskets. They were always glad to do mine too since I was busy setting up the meal for the adults. Got it covered. This plan worked so well for so many years I even had a third child.
But then life interferes with my Easter plan again. Now we have retired from the military and moved back to my at the time husband's home state to help care for his ailing father. Easter comes and I am in despair. Three kids all expecting the big Easter blow out staring me in the face. I fleetingly thought about suicide but my third one was sensitive and might forever associate chocolate bunny's with Mommy blowing her brains out so I quickly pulled myself together and went on the hunt for someone in the family who loves the Easter mess. I was fortunate, she lived right next door, my very own mother-in-law. Only she loved it more than anyone I had ever been able to con into it before, she loved it more than the kids did. It turned into more of a production and it started two weeks before Easter. She wanted to be the one that took and bought each child their Easter outfit for church. You go Granny! She wanted to cook the whole dinner. I love you Granny! She wanted to put giant Easter baskets taller than my kids and filled to the brim. You're a saint Granny! She wanted to color all the eggs but it was a two day affair so the kids had to spend the night, these were no ordinary eggs these were elaborately decorated eggs that should be in an art exhibit. You're my hero Granny! The hiding of the eggs encompassed both of our very large yards and took hours to hide and even more for the kids to find. Worthwhile though because Granny puts money in some of the eggs and we are not talking dollar bills or some change. The golden egg had $100 in it. I suddenly discovered the joy of hunting Easter eggs for the first time in my life. I am so comfortable and happy with the arrangement that I have a fourth child.
When Demon Seed and The Devil's Advocate was about two I could see thet were definitely my children, they were not in the least impressed with any of the Easter mess. Theye hated it and only went through the motions. Then came the night when they were around six years old and it was egg coloring night at Granny's. About 7 pm I get a call that Demon Seed is feeling ill and wants to come home, I trot across the yard to get him knowing full well there was nothing wrong with the child other than the thoughts of going through the motions again had finally gotten to him. He comes to the door with a giant hollow chocolate rabbit (he hated them even more than I had as a child) because Granny feels so bad he is missing all the fun she wants him to at least have something for the night. We thank her and go back across the yard to our house. We hang for a bit, eat some snacks and suddenly he looks at me and says "Mommy, I have an idea! Let's smash the chocolate rabbit with a hammer and see what happens." Since we weren't going to eat the stupid thing and God knows the other 3 kids didn't need the extra sugar that is exactly what we did. We took that rabbit outside, placed it on the step and smashed the hell out of it. Best Easter fun ever for me and for him too. From that year on I covered for him, he liked the going out to dinner before coming back to Granny's for the Easter mess so every year after that he got sick right at egg coloring time and I claimed he had developed an allergy to the dye and it was a shame but he understood that he couldn't participate in that part of the fun and would need to come home. Every year we bashed a hollow chocolate bunny on the back step. He was luckier than me though, even though he disliked most of the candy in Granny's basket we had a 220 pound Great Dane that loved it, so anything non chocolate went to the Dane. That Dane loved peeps so much that he would steal them out of the other kids baskets if they left them in reach, and he stood 6' 3" when on his back legs so there wasn't much that wasn't within his reach. In other words the peeps belonged to him, always.
This past Sunday on Easter Demon Seed turned to look at me during dinner and ask "Mom, how many times do you think we killed the Easter bunny over the years?" He let our secret out, the traitor child.
I think Granny will recover by next Easter in time for the great-grandkids who are depending on her.