My four-year-old niece Katie asked her grandma the other day, "When is Rabbit Day?"
Yes, Rabbit Day. It’s the day when the Easter Bunny comes to the farm and hides a bunch of colorful, candy-filled plastic Easter eggs around the farm yard. Ironically enough, the rabbit always visits when the kids are busy playing farm, house, cars, dolls and whatever else they can find to play with in the basement of Grandma and Grandpa Buntjer’s home.
The "Rabbit" is their 39-year-old Auntie Juwee … the one who gets just as excited for days like this as the kids do. Of course, I don’t have to worry about taking a sugared-up, hyper little kid home with me at the end of the day … what could be better?
The Easter egg hunt has been a tradition ever since nephew Matt was able to toddle around and pick up Easter eggs with his little fingers. As he and the older cousins grew "too old" to pick Easter eggs, the next crop of Buntjer babies had come along.
This year, we’ll have a two-year-old, two four-year-olds, an eight-year-old and a 10-year-old frantically running around the farm yard in search of candy-filled eggs … along with a six-year-old dog named Molly who frantically runs around with them. Only once has Molly stolen an Easter egg, but I think nephew Blake was able to steal it from her. If he wants an Easter egg so bad that he’ll take one covered in dog slobber, well, who am I to stop him?
I’m not sure how many Easter eggs I’ll stuff with candy and coins (the healthy alternative) this year … it depends on how many plastic egg halves survived last year’s hunt. I do think I will need to have two separate hunts … one for the two older boys and one for the three younger kids. Blake and Zach could use a bigger challenge, while little Alayna will be happy to find eggs right out on the lawn.
Many years ago, when my own parents hid Easter eggs for my brothers and I, the hunt was in the living room of our old farm house. Every egg was labeled with a name … if it wasn’t my name on the egg, I was supposed to keep quiet and keep looking for my own. It was frowned upon to tell a sibling where their Easter eggs were hiding.
Well, in one of those early years, my oldest brother found a "Julie" egg and decided to re-hide it … in one of Mom’s planters that hung well over my head. (Not only were the eggs labeled for each kid, they were given out in equal amounts.) When I couldn’t find my last Easter egg, Mom decided to help me. She was mystified, checking all of the places where the Easter Bunny had been, and no egg.
Meanwhile, I’m sure Kevin was off snickering in the corner. I don’t remember just how long it was before he decided to fess up, climb on top of the couch and reach into the planter for the egg … but I’m pretty sure he received a scolding from Mom.
Leave it to brothers to be difficult! Maybe that’s why I get to be the family Easter Bunny.