Beyond the Bunny

256px-The_Velveteen_Rabbit_pg_25Is There More To Easter Than Chocolate?

 

Shiny pink foil, glittering around a perfect oval shape. It’s appealing. Tearing the foil and cracking open the smooth surface of the egg reveals…nothing. It’s empty.

 

So what’s the message here? Aren’t eggs the promise of new life, new beginnings? The excitement of all that packaging only to find nothing at the centre of it all. Disappointing.

 

So what’s my point?  If you celebrate a secular Easter (as we do), what’s the message you’re sending to the kids?  Is there more to Easter than chocolate?

 

Beyond the Bunny

 

Now it’s always struck me as a strange accident of interbreeding that Bunnies deliver eggs, but I’m not going there today. I’m diving into the heart of why my Easter message has been different this year.

 

For one thing, my kids are no longer BELIEVERS – that is, they know that I hide their eggs and they are outsmarting me with their detective skills in finding them! This means that the Easter Egg Hunt is now a family tradition a bit like playing a boring lengthy game of Monopoly! It demands ruthless skill, unrivalled treachery and old-fashioned luck!

 

For another thing, one of my kids is on a health kick the other is chocoholic! So I agreed to a ‘trade back’ on eggs, because the choice not to eat chocolate for health has to be ENCOURAGED!! I traded eggs at $5 a piece even when I only paid $2!! (Now you can see why I’m such a failure at Monopoly!)

 

And finally, this Easter my kids can see that you CAN’T BUY HAPPINESS; another chocolate bunny might sweeten your life for a moment but it can’t fill an empty space in your heart.

 

Ripples in a Pond

 

This Easter my children are learning about loss.

They are witnessing first hand the pain of losing a parent. It’s not one of their parents, but it’s close enough.  Close enough to witness the ripples in the pond as their friends, family and school communities grieve.

Close enough to remind them that nothing is forever.

So this Easter my message has been about being REAL. To stop getting distracted by the sparkly packaging of life and to concentrate on the REAL stuff that matters.

The things we can’t live without.

Once you have witnessed the pain of living without the one you love, it’s easy to see what is real:

  • love
  • laughter
  • cuddles
  • warm touch
  • shared emotion
  • family

I read The Velveteen Rabbit again today and this is an extract from it:

 “Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. “it’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time…”

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

 

The Velveteen Rabbit was a book that my Mum used to read to me, and I remember loving it, but we both felt a bit choked towards the end. I tried reading it to my kids but got too emotional to finish so I left the story for another day.

And another day has come.

TODAY.

This is the message I’m sending to my kids this Easter:

Love without heed of appearance, for those that love you will always see your beauty.

Love without fear of loss, because love will transform your life.

Love because you can, all things will pass and fade, but you can be made new through love.

We are all toys in the nursery of life, some of us are sharp and pointy, some of us boastful, but love can transform us all.