The Easter Bunny called. Santa is dead.

I have worn many hats this week. Today was gardener, party planner, referee and nagging mom. Somewhere I misplaced my bunny ears.

We trickled in around 9pm after spending the evening out as a family enjoying dinner and a movie. On the way home I was struck with the realization that I had never put Easter baskets together. No clingy plastic grass. No cross-eyed chocolate bunnies. No stickers, games or spring colored socks. I thought about going out again, but I remembered that earlier in the day The Tortoise had asked if the Easter Bunny could just leave her some money for iTunes this year. That plan seemed much easier.

“Hare, ” I said absently picking up dirty socks and mis-matched pajamas. “Instead of an Easter basket this year, The Tortoise and I thought maybe you would just like some iTunes or Nook money.”

There was silence. Then a sniffle. I looked up and saw The Hare’s broken face, her cheeks turning red. “But doesn’t the Easter Bunny decide what I’m getting?”

We stood staring at each other for a minute. I had no idea what to say.

“There’s no Easter Bunny, is there?” she started to cry.

“Really? You thought…”

“Then what else have you been lying about? SANTA?”

Now I started crying.


I walked across the room, tossing clothes left and right, enveloped her in my arms. We both sunk to the floor weeping.

“Oh honey, ” I whispered, “I am so very sorry.”

“All this time I thought I was a good little girl because I was on the Nice List and now…well, this is just too much to handle, ” she continued to sob.

We managed to finish getting ready for bed and then crawled under the covers together. Tears were shed until we had to flip the pillow over looking for a dry spot. I wrapped her in my arms, kissing her wet cheeks, reminding her how it was a wonderful way to show love to each other without taking all the credit. We talked about our favorite Easter baskets and most surprising Santa gifts. I assured her that she didn’t need an imaginary list to know she was good. The Hare wept because she said the holidays will never be the same. I wept because I had broken her heart.

She just wasn’t ready to grow up yet, and I guess neither was I. This felt as empty as the first time she didn’t want to nurse or when she gave up her pacifier. I had lost another piece of my baby, watched her age right before my eyes, witnessed innocence being broken down by reality.

The Hare was quiet for a few minutes, her breathing more slow and steady. I thought maybe she had fallen asleep.

1 of 2 Fairy doors we have mounted in our house. The Fairies leave messages and little treats.

“Mom, ” she whispered, “I’m just so glad that fairies are real. I don’t think I could have handled another disappointment.”

I gave her a big squeeze and shut my eyes.

“Me too, sweetie. Me too.”

9 thoughts on “The Easter Bunny called. Santa is dead.

  1. OMG, so sad! You didn’t warn me that I was going to need tissues when reading this post. Might want to post *Kleenex Warning* at the top next time so that your readers don’t have resort to using their sleeves 😉

  2. Wow…such a powerful post. I just came across your blog and thougth I’d poke around on my lunch hour. This made me tear up a little, knowing that way too soon I’ll have a similar moment with my daughter. Thank you for sharing your experiences.

  3. I remember finding out that Santa and the Easter Bunny weren’t real… My little brother still believes, though, and it’s even better helping out as an ‘elf’ at Christmas.

  4. I’m not sure I ever really believed in Santa or the Easter Bunny. I guess being the youngest by four years, with a sister six years old, you kind of learn that pretty early on. We all still pretend to believe which is what I think we’ve always done.

  5. Great post! As horrible as it felt I think it’s better for them to find out from their parents than from friends or some other way. We finally had to tell our daughter last year when she was 12. The 10 year old boy is still hanging on for dear life. I think he knows but he’s afraid if he gives in the quantity of loot will decrease!

  6. What a sweet and tragic story. Honestly, these are tough times no matter when the truths come around. I remember my oldest son just coming to me one day and reporting that he knew. He also knew that we had a younger child in the house and he very valiantly took one for his younger brother by holding this secret and more importantly allowing Mom and Dad a few more years to bring magic into our home. The only fairies that come to my home actually leave work for me to do such as the laundry pile fairy. I totally love your ideas of fairies and hope you can somehow keep this dream alive until she no longer needs it. I think with the fairy dust helping along the way, that anything is possible!

  7. Awesome post. I remember when my daughter first found out about Santa and then the Easter Bunny. She was mad more than anything that we had “lied” to her all those years. There wasn’t a tender moment like you described. She even went so far as to say she would never tell her own children such things. But I think when it all comes down to it grandma will be telling her grandchildren to hurry and go to sleep so the Easter Bunny will come. Thanks for sharing and bringing back memories.

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