Saturday, March 26, 2005

Here comes Peter Cotton Tail, and there go his ears

When I was a child of Easter egg hunting age, the Easter Sunday morning routine would actually begin the night before with Mom hiding all the chocolate and eggs throughout the house while my sister, brother and I slept. Come Sunday morning, we'd grab our empty Easter baskets and run through the house in search of the best haul of goods. And by run through the house, I mean RUN THROUGH THE HOUSE LIKE CHOCOLATE-ADDICTED MANIACS. I'm sure that our movement would have rendered us out of focus to even the sharpest eye. We were terrors on a mission, lifting up couch and chair cushions, flinging back curtains, diving under tables, tripping over each other and stepping on each other with absolutely no care beyond our pure chocolate-driven greedy goal. Animals in the wild, we were. Ultimately, it was not the colored foil wrapped eggs or malted milk eggs that we were after. Somewhere in the house was hidden a chocolate bunny rabbit for each of us. That was the holy grail of the morning. Usually they were hidden in plain sight, atop a picture frame or lamp, but year after year we failed to remember that, caught up in our own frenzy. And we also failed to remember that our bunnies came without ears. Every year, without fail, no ears. Well, maybe they were made with them but our bunnies arrived to us without them. The teethmarks in the chocolate were definitely those of my very guilty looking but highly amused father's. Mom would be exasperated, trying to console us because of course we'd be wailing about it as if it were a complete surprise (chocolate addition can lead to dramatic behavior), and on the other hand, wondering out loud, when Dad did it, had he followed her when she was hiding them, and why would he do this to the kids? Dad would give us his what can I say? look, a very wide-eyed-to-the-sky sort of look accompanied by shrugged shoulders and hands upheld palm upward. Eventually the tears would dry and we'd step into our eating frenzy, trying to stuff as much chocolate in our greedy mouths as we could before being told it was time to dress for church, and to leave our baskets downstairs. Some things don't change. Last year he ate the ears off the chocolate bunny I brought Mom. It' one of those things that just is, and it's not something that I ever remember thinking I'd always remember, likely because it was repeated yearly. I am remembering it now though, and it's making me smile. Happy Easter.

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