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Sunday, March 27, 2005

Easter Tales

Dear Friends:

My kids and I have always enjoyed a good Easter Egg Hunt and those special Easter gifts. A couple of years ago, the night before Easter while the kids were in bed, I decided to let the Easter Bunny bring the gifts.

I cut out a great big pattern of bunny rabbit paws to use as a stencil. I then went through the house, up and down the stairs, putting down the stenciled paws and spreading talcum powder around the edges. I made sure there was a pattern showing that the bunny rabbit had visited every room. This was one hopping bunny! Then I put the kids' gifts into the closets of their rooms. I was tickled with this elaborate plan; I even hid the stencil in a special place.

The next morning Alexander wakes up and sees the paw prints leading to his gifts. He went running through the house and then into my room. He says, "Dad! He was here!" I say, "Who son? Who?" Alexander says, "The Easter Bunny! He brought me this wonderful stuff!" He dashes out and into Natasha's room, "Natasha! Natasha! Wake up! The Easter Bunny has been here."

Natasha wakes up, surveys the scene, and comes rushing into my room. I'm expecting another excited and happy child. Wrong. My young budding attorney says, "Why would you lie to your son? How did you do this? Get real! You can't fool me Dad. You may be able to lie to your son but not to me!" At this point Alexander is now crying, "Dad, you lied to me?" He and Natasha leave the room in hot pursuit of the evidence of my crime.

It was a lesson for me. My daughter is only two years older then her brother. At that time, he still had a willingness to suspend disbelief and enjoy. She had somehow passed from childhood and into her perception of the adult world, which requires one to "be real". Here I am motivated to enjoy life like a child and here she is determined to be all grown up!

The next year at Easter, I thought I'd play it safe. I wouldn't try to bring the Bunny Rabbit hopping back into our lives. Perhaps a Nautical Easter would stir the imagination. I made it so the eggs would float and put little hooks on them. I picked up a couple of those remote control boats and attached a 'spear' on the front of them. We went to a big pond on the golf course. I threw the eggs out into the pond. My idea was that Natasha and Alexander would have a great time trying to 'capture' the eggs with the boats.

At this point, here comes my young prosecuting attorney, Natasha. "Dad, how could you do this? Don't you know it's dangerous to be out here on this golf course? This is NOT SAFE! We could get killed by a golf ball!" That was the end of that Easter Egg Hunt. I had to capture all the floating Easter Eggs myself.

This year, I'm searching for something that will be fun for Alexander and me, and meet all of the safety rules and strict standards of Natasha. A simple Easter Egg Hunt doesn't work anymore -- they're 12 and 14 -- I have a hard time hiding anything from them…let alone Easter Eggs.

We're headed for Roaring River Trout Park. What I'm thinking about doing is taking those floating eggs along. They are a little smelly by now. I'll have Natasha and Alexander stand on one bridge and I'll throw the floating eggs off of another bridge from up the river. As the eggs float down the river, the kids can catch them with their nets.

We'll call it an Easter Egg Fishing Tournament. Then they can tell tales about the one egg that got away. I wonder if Natasha will recognize this very adult pastime. Not the fishing part -- the telling tall tales. I'm waiting for the time when she recognizes that I'm a story teller. I like a good joke, a well-told story, even a little bit of exaggeration, a tall tale if you will…something that touches me and brings laughter to our lives. I think when she does she'll really have grown up. Then, there will be bunny paw prints all over her house too!

Love and Laughter,


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