Dad is a truck driver. A long-haul driver for most of my childhood, he was often unable to make it home on the day everyone else celebrated a holiday.
We therefore became accustomed, over the years, to writing letters to Santa and the Easter Bunny:
Did I mention my dad drives a BIG truck? It’s important to keep this in mind.
If you’ve been around children on the night before a holiday, you know that there is a special sort of magic in the air. This particular Easter took place a week late, in 1982.* Picture, if you will, four sweet little children (“Sweet” as in, “Bless their sweet little hearts”**) ranging in age from 2-6 years old. We’ve just finished dyeing the table, each other, and by a remarkable feat of effort on the part of our parents, most of the eggs. Conversation has naturally turned to cataloguing potential hiding places…
- Barbecuer? Yes.
- Truck bumper? That’s a given.
- Wheel well on the Blazer? It could go either way.
- And every child in our family for three generations knows that the Bunny has a weirdly obsessive compulsion to stick an egg in the end of the clothesline T-post. It’s in his genetic makeup and has to do with the relationship between rabbits and holes***. I’m a scientist so you can believe me in this.
…when dad looks up from removing his last egg and says,
“Oh, I don’t think you’ll have to look for eggs tomorrow. I’m pretty sure I ran over the Easter Bunny on Sunday. About yay high, wears a bow-tie?”
He looks from child to stricken child.
“Yeah, I’m pretty sure it was him.”
And this, folks, is how you create those special family memories that last a lifetime.
Stay tuned to a future post to find out how you can traumatize your child at Christmas with just a chimney and an old Don Knotts/Tim Conway movie. Wookalars may be involved, but I don’t want to spoil the surprise.
*Which I believe is the year before classmate Rachel told me the truth about the Rabbit and the Big Guy in the Red Suit. It was a conversation I purposefully and successfully managed to repress for several more years, having come to the realization that, as the oldest child, holidays would be much less magical when my parents found out they had a “Little Helper”. Finding the hidden Easter eggs is much more efficient but decidedly less exciting when you’re the one who hid them.
** This was mainly true of those who knew us, and of our propensity to do things like break into the house paint of a morning, and color coordinate ourselves and the deep freeze with our home’s exterior. Or to dig out the Christmas lights and joyfully stomp on them one at a time. Pop! Pop! Pop! It’s like stomping on mud cracks but with that extra little thrill that comes with the growing certainty that you are in imminent danger. No, not from broken glass. From Mom.
*** You may have thought I would say something else here. Shame on you.