As Demi wrote a sweet sentiment in an Easter card to a friend and her three young boys in Georgia, USA, she thought of her own kids at that age. Her twin girls, Ruby, and Olive, now adults and smart thinkers, savvy to tricksters and scams, were wise about today’s world. But they were not above having coffee mugs that had I’m not adulting today printed on the side, for the days when being a grown-up was far too hard, and there was of course a time when the Easter bunny was a thing in their household. He was more than a thing; he was an institution. He was like Santa; you had to be good to get the goodies.
Demi sighed and gave a small shudder of distaste, remembering back to that time when her anxiety levels went through the roof…
Year after year, for some unfathomable reason it was her job, not her husband Tim’s, to sneak into the twin’s room while they slept, and carefully and silently place a stash of Easter treats around their room; under their beds, on their bedside tables, on the windowsill, in drawers, in toys baskets…
She would lament to Tim every April, pleading her case that it was his turn to do the deed.
“It’s definitely your turn this year, Tim,”
“No, it’s your job, you are really good at it.”
“I hate creeping in there, I know they will wake up and spring me! Then what? I’m busted! Why do we do it, anyway? This is the last time I’m putting myself through this!”
“Because the girls love it, that’s why. They won’t wake up, you’ve got this!” Tim reassured her.
Tim said the same thing each year. He felt he had a watertight alibi to be excused from the job. It was so stressful trying to be quiet when their girls had taken so long to get to sleep despite Demi reading them at least six stories in the hope they would drop off, but if anything, Demi was the one whose eyes became heavy.
“Mum? Can we have another one?”
“Mum, can we have Harry the Dirty Dog, again?”
“I want Arthur's Good Manners!”
“But I've already read six books, sweetie…that’s enough for tonight.”
“Aww, just one more…” They would whine in unison.
“Okay, but it’s my choice. And I choose…Now We are Six…Pooh Bear! Your grandad used to read this to me, I loved it!”
If they wanted just one more, she would call the shots. It didn’t make the girls feel sleepy, but those poems never got old.
Then finally there was that faint flutter and twitch of their eyelids, followed by a blink and a yawn to indicate sleep was not far away. Demi tucked them in and kissed them goodnight, not daring to mention the B-word. That would stir them into more thoughts of bunnies and Easter baskets.
That Sunday night was always long. Demi crept up the six creaky steps in their split-level house to the end of the hall. The door to the girl's room was always ajar, so on hearing the soft purr-like snoring sounds coming from each bed, Demi, bleary-eyed as it was almost midnight, crept around their room with a bag of Easter treats. With every rustle of the sheets, stretch, mumble, or pop of flatulence, Demi would freeze and panic that she would get sprung faking the Easter Bunny.
Demi smiled a slightly crazed smile as she remembered that time. She gave another tiny shudder when she thought how long she kept her cat burglar antics up. Her girls were 11 when she finally retired and hung up her bunny ears. She had friends who said she was mad, but they meant well. One friend had said she should slip some brandy into their Milo at bedtime, to get them to pass out faster.
Her thoughts were interrupted as Ruby and Olive arrived home from their appointments at The Nail and Beauty Spa. The girls entered the dining room and joined their mother at the table.
“What do you think mum? I've gone for a nice teal this time,”
Not to be outdone by her older sister, “I’m doing lilac.” Ruby added, wiggling her fingers about to catch the sparkles in the light., “What are you doing, mum?”
“I'm doing an Easter card to Ineke and reminiscing back to those chocolatey times when you were young like her kids.’
“Ohh Easter was so much fun. We used to get up so early to find the eggs. Then we would sit and count them all.”
“Yeah, we had to have exactly that same number of eggs!”
“Don’t I know it!” Demi rolled her eyes.
“Oh mum, you were a great Easter bunny! We had to stay so quiet.”
“What? You knew it was me?”
“Of course, we did!”
“All that stress…” Demi pouted.
“Our friends told us.”
“We never said anything in case we stopped getting all the treats!”
“We all need a little magic in our lives, mum, and you were the best.”
Demi rolled her eyes again. “Those friends of yours, the little dobbers! Well, I have an axe to grind with the Easter Bunny then!”
Ruby and Olive patted Demi down, “You’re the greatest, mum, but I think the Easter Bunny would say suck it up and leave the business of Easter baskets to the Pro!”