Saturday, April 07, 2012

Dear Sophie,

I have bad news. Are you sitting down?

There's no Easter bunny.

Yes, I know there are baskets and toys and little plastic eggs filled with goodies. But they don't come from a rabbit. They come from mom and dad.

We work hard to make money and then we use a little bit of that money sacrificially to buy you things that make you squeal with delight. Because Easter is actually about sacrifice. The greatest sacrifice ever made. This year has been one full of questions and the one that you can't seem to get a satisfactory answer to is this: "But why did Jesus have to die??" so I try to explain to your tender heart without sending you into the depths of remorse. You are such a sweet, gentle soul and the thought that you might have done something bad that caused Jesus to die is almost more than you can bear.

So I tiptoe around the "why" and focus on the "what" of the holiday. We've never really introduced the concept of an Easter bunny to you. It's really something you've picked up from school and others who thought I was short changing your childhood by not allowing you to believe in the Easter bunny and Santa Claus and the tooth fairy. It's not that I discourage it, I just don't want to be the one responsible for perpetuating lies that then have to been explained and justified. Especially when it's about something so serious, so life-altering, as the sacrifice Jesus made for us. For you, my precious girl.

But I recognize that I have to allow you to be in the world too. I was absolutely crushed when you came home from school a couple of weeks ago, devestated over a conversation that took place around the lunch table. The other kids were talking about Santa (again? Really??? It was MARCH for heaven's sake! Can't we get a break from the fat man in the red suit??) and how he lives at the North Pole. You told them that Santa, in fact, lives in heaven. With Jesus.

That did not go over well.

And so, as I looked at your sad face in the review mirror as you recounted the story to me, my heart broke. Because you knew the truth and were met with lies. And you begged me to set the record straight. So I explained again the beginnings of Santa and St Nicolaus and how he gave because Jesus gave and yes he's in heaven but's a secret and we don't tell other kids because they should hear it from their mommies and daddies...

And I decided not to kill the Easter bunny just yet.

So if you ask me for the truth, I will always give it to you. But if you want to believe a rabbit hops around our yard, hiding plastic eggs and then somehow sneaks into our house and leaves a basket of goodies on the table for you, then I won't fight it.

But when you're old enough to read this, I want you to know that Easter - and our very lives - is just about one thing. Jesus. I thought you should know the truth.

That, and daddy's the one who hides the eggs.

I love you my beautiful princess!