About 13 years ago, I found out the Easter Bunny wasn’t real. I was 12 years old.
I’m actually surprised I made it to that age. Nowadays, kids are finding out these mythical creatures don’t actually exist at much younger ages (or maybe I was just an unusually late case; or maybe both). My brother and sister never ruined it for me and my parents let me go on believing, probably (if I had to guess) because they didn’t want to ruin the magic for me. I positively hated them when they told me. I actually threw myself onto the floor, started crying and screaming “you lied to me! my life is over! they aren’t real?! how could you do this to me!?” Or something to that extent, I can’t actually remember verbatim (although my mom remembers vividly, and enjoys telling the story every chance she gets). I don’t blame them for telling me; I was, after all, in middle school by that point, and starting to get into verbal arguments with kids at school over it. Basically, other kids would try and convince me that it wasn’t real, that our parents snuck into our rooms late at night and took the teeth from under our pillows, replacing it with money, or that it was really they who left presents in our stockings and under the tree. I wasn’t buying it. I had hardcore evidence, after all. Like the time “Santa” (aka MY FATHER) left a boot print in the soot inside the chimney. Or how the cookies were ALWAYS gone. And how that one time I heard the reindeer on the roof (still not sure about that one; how could my dad get up on the roof, anyway? It’s not like he was a carpenter and had ladders and spent a lot of time on roofs anyway…oh wait…never mind).
So basically I had my hopes and dreams crushed by my elders, never to trust or believe in anything ever again. And then shortly thereafter, it was Easter Sunday.
We spent the first Easter after “the horrible revelation” at our cousin’s house in Maryland. I remember waking up Easter morning and being so bitter, watching the younger kids joyful and somewhat confused at how a bunny had snuck into the house while everyone slept and left them treats. I, however, knew the truth, and sulked in the corner. My mom pulled me into the laundry room, ashamed and belittled (as she SHOULD feel after destroying her daughter’s dreams forever), and offered me an Easter basket she had put together for me, claiming that even though I knew it was no longer real, she still wanted me to enjoy the holidays and believe in the “magical” part of it all. Whatever that means. I accepted the basket (obviously, there were toys and chocolate in that thing), but I never quite felt the magic the same way from that day forward. Depressing, I know. I never said this story would be happy. Oh wait, it gets better. Not.
So that night my dad calls from our house in Pennsylvania to tell me that my guinea pig, Hairball, had gotten really sick and didn’t look like he was going to make it. My dad stayed with him through the night, holding him and making him as comfortable as he possibly could while he lived out his final moments, but Hairball didn’t make it and I never got a chance to say goodbye. So, while everyone was all excited that Jesus had risen, I had to endure the loss of my childhood innocence AND my loving and faithful pet Hairball. Talk about a rough time.
So Easter doesn’t really hold a special place in my heart anymore. Not that it ever really did, because I’m not religious and don’t really care that “the tomb is empty” or whatever.
But really, what’s the point of celebrating a holiday if a giant (albeit, somewhat scary) bunny ISN’T going to break into your house while you sleep, eat your raw vegetables and leave you candy as a means of saying sorry for the breaking and entering? I just don’t see why I should bother anymore.
Does anyone else remember how they “found out” or have any Easter stories that maybe aren’t so depressing? Do share, I could use a good laugh right now. I guess if all else fails I can just go laugh at this Easter post from last year.