I have the usual memories of Easter from when I was a child, my mom always spoiled my brother and I on holidays. Chocolate bunnies nestled in bright baskets full of pastel colored plastic grass. The eggs my brother and I had decorated with crayon and food coloring hidden around the house. Eating mounds of candy and a trip to the park – no doubt to wear off the sugar rush my brother and I were both on. Crazy kids, loving parents, always a good weekend.
One of my fondest memories of Easter though is when I was 10 years old. In the local convenience store there was a chocolate bunny in a box. One day several weeks before Easter I got it in my head that I needed to buy that bunny for my mom and dad for a present. I went about collecting all the change I could find – everything in my drawers, my piggy banks, my hidden stashes. I sat in our playroom and counted pennies and nickles until I had the 9.99 price tag to buy the rabbit. Being that I was 10 I didn’t know about rolling coin or about taxes yet so I dragged exactly 9.99 in mostly pennies down the street Easter weekend to the store. In a plastic bag. Complete with bits of paper and pet hair mixed in.
I remember waiting in line, bouncing up and down as I eyed the bunny on the shelf. Surely no one would buy the chocolate before MY turn in line, right? Bright eyed (and bushy tailed) I plopped the bag of coin down on his counter and proudly announced “I want to buy that bunny for my mommy and daddy please!” (yes, I called them mommy and daddy – I still do at 34 years of age)
I’m not sure if the shop keeper found it annoying or adorable that I had brought him this bag of change but he and I counted it together in between other customers being rung through. I had counted right (I remember being very proud of this fact) but I didn’t have enough. He explained to me about taxes and my world fell down around me. I didn’t have any more money. That was everything I could find in the house!
The shop keeper thought for a moment and finally handed me the bunny. He took the bag of change and set it behind the counter. He bagged up my bunny and sent me on my way. I was so happy! I ran home, made my own wrapping paper for the bunny and prepared to present it to mommy and daddy the next morning.
They were touched that I bought it and I remember refusing to eat my chocolate before they ate theirs. I learned later that my mom hated milk chocolate and ate some of it anyways to see me smile. I think that was the first time I realized how much FUN giving presents was – especially when I had toiled so hard to acquire the gifts. The feeling of pride and happiness as mom and dad enjoyed the bunny has stuck with me all these years and I continue to enjoy giving people things that make them smile to this day.
Happy Easter … no matter how you celebrate. Have a bunny, on me. 🙂