When BB was about three, the Easter Bunny left him a note in his Easter Basket. I don’t remember what the note said, but it was probably along the lines of:
Dear BB, I hid eggs inside the house because it was snowing when I came by. Have lots of fun and see if you can find more eggs than your mom and dad. Oh, and enjoy the chocolate!
And then the Easter Bunny signed his name. You’d think maybe he’d be EB or Bunn or something like that. I mean, that would make perfect sense, right? But no. Apparently the Easter Bunny is named Clarence. Clarence. Who knew?
And so it began…The tradition of Clarence leaving a short note and some chocolate on the dining room table.
I can hear some of you shouting:
Wait! Stop! Your family doesn’t believe in the Easter Story, so why do you celebrate Easter? What possible reason could you have for having an Easter Basket and an Easter egg hunt and all that jazz? Why???
Well, because it’s fun. It’s also part of our cultural identity. Major holidays can’t be avoided. You can’t just sit there and pretend they don’t exist.You can’t drive past a store, walk into a Target, or turn on a television without being bombarded with holiday images. Whether or not we’re into the meaning of the holiday, the holiday is there and it’s celebrated by a majority of people. And the last thing I want for my son to take out of his childhood is the feeling that he missed out on a lot of really fun stuff. That’s what religion is for.
So we secularize our holidays. Easter is about chocolate and an egg hunt. Christmas is about presents and making cookies for neighbors. BB gets to celebrate and take into his own adulthood the memories of creating traditions that are meaningful to our family because they don’t revolve around religion. He gets to take into his adulthood the experiences of participation, celebration, and anticipation.
As an added bonus, as he gets older he finds more and more flaws with Clarence and Santa. He’s using his own critical thinking skills to think for himself and to decide for himself if these stories really make sense. Which is probably one of the most important things I want him to take into his adulthood: The ability to critically think and to decide for himself, with reason and logic, what to believe. I don’t want him to just blindly follow my beliefs any more than I want him to blindly follow a Pope.
This is probably the last year he’ll really believe in Clarence. Part of me is sad about that, but the other part of me is really happy that he’s figuring things out on his own. That means Hubby and I are doing our job right.
Happy Easter, Everyone!