Michelle Martin

Running late

Sunday, April 3, 2016

The Easter bunny came late to our house this year. He could be forgiven, I suppose. Things were a bit confused, what with having five extra kids there, kids who had their own Easter morning surprises waiting at their house.

The kids — my nieces and nephews, all between 4 and 11 years old — ended up at our house because my sister had some unexpected medical problems, and my brother-inlaw had to work overnight. So we explained to Teresa that it was hard enough on her cousins — who had spent most of Saturday with relatives on the other side of their family — to have to get dropped off at our house with about an hour’s notice and spend the night before Easter without their mom and dad. It would be mean to have the Easter bunny come for her and her brother and sister and not for them.

So they played with Teresa’s toys (other people’s toys are always the best) and goofed off with Frank in the backyard while Tony made hamburgers on the grill. They broke out the face paint and had a “Frozen” dance party with the lights off in the dining room. At bedtime, it only took an hour or so to get the younger ones settled. The oldest, in all her pre-teen glory, stayed up until 10 while we cleaned up and watched her favorite TV show.

Only one got sick during the night — with eight kids in the house I counted that as a victory — and they went through two double batches of pancakes in the morning. After their dad picked them up, Teresa got her presents and candy from the Easter bunny.

Good thing she already knew that parents help make the whole Easter bunny (and Santa Claus and tooth fairy) thing happen, because she ended up helping, too, filling plastic eggs with candy for her brother’s and sister’s baskets. She considered hiding the eggs for the egg hunt, too, but decided she’d rather find them, so she left the room and waited patiently.

I remember being a kid, long past old enough to know that a rabbit really couldn’t deliver baskets of eggs and candy all over the world, still waking up on my grandparents’ couch on Easter and seeing the baskets that had appeared on the coffee table while I slept, and thinking “the Easter bunny came!”

He did visit our house this year, a little late, and with Teresa’s help, and it wasn’t what I expected for Easter Sunday morning, but it worked. When she had her basket, Teresa said she was glad the Easter bunny came at all, because “the Easter bunny is the most important thing about Easter. After Jesus.”