En route to school this morning:
“Mom, did you know Jesus had a lot of bunny rabbits?”
Why, no, I did not know he had a lot of bunny rabbits.
“Can we get a bunny rabbit for Easter or my birthday?”
“Why not? Even Jesus got to have rabbits, and he died on a cross. I wonder who took care of his rabbits after he died. Mom, how long did it take for Jesus to die on the cross?”
I lie and tell her that he died quickly as the suffering part of the crucifixion doesn’t seem appropriate for my kindergarten daughter; however, I’m not entirely sure what her gospel expert, St. Mary’s Catholic School 4th grader friend Olivia, age 9, has already told her about the way Jesus died. As a distraction technique, I ask, “How do you know Jesus had rabbits?”
“Well, they made him happy and that’s why we have the Easter bunny, right?” said more as a statement and less of a question. A logical leap for sure.
“Mom, did you also know today is called Good Friday even though Jesus died? Why is that good?”
This does call for a deep sigh along with a low “Sweet Jesus” under my breath knowing that I now, upon pulling into the parking lot to our school, need to make a quick trip up to see Mrs. Pamplin, her teacher, just to give warning of what’s to come during morning meeting. I picture her little flower colored arm shooting into the air on the colorful rug, “Mrs. Pamplin, may I tell everyone how Jesus died on the cross today?”
She was actually given the choice to ski with her dad and brother, but she chose to come to school with me, mostly, I think, to share with her little friends her exciting knowledge about Jesus having bunnies and dying on a cross.
I do not intend to make light of Easter and understand it’s a very serious holiday in many faiths, but I can’t help think about the confusion for children. Easter is the paradox of death and rebirth, winter and spring, Jesus and bunny rabbits. But I’m looking forward to this Easter because we are sharing it with my parents and some friends; we plan on tackling Loon Mountain Ministry’s Sunrise service Sunday morning. Look out Minister Marcus if Greta Krill gets your ear for a minute or 20. We will have an afternoon Easter Egg Hunt in the backyard, and I hope my cranky neighbors are watching and file a complaint to the Condo Association about too much fun and adventure and life being celebrated in the yard between egg hunting, whiffle- balling, and biking.
My parents, “uncles” Kenny and Dave, friends Claire and JJ, their boys, Geoff and I will perch on the deck in a willing sunshine (as temps may reach 70 degrees). Some of us may even indulge an afternoon cocktail, perhaps a Revel Stoke Roasted Pecan Whiskey. The manager of our local Common Man Restaurant, Carol Gillen, introduced the beverage to us shortly after Claire was diagnosed with breast cancer. Thank you, Carol! I still love that the drinks we had actually ordered were not good enough for the circumstances when she approached with the Revel Stoke. Claire and I began a tradition of having a bourbon or whiskey cocktail the night before her chemotherapy appointments. She is literally kicking cancer’s ass, but we both agree the Revel Stoke helps. This week, the fantastic news from her surgeon is that both her chemotherapy treatments along with an occasional Revel Stoke, more than medicinal in purpose, has continued to shrink her tumor as aggressively as he arrived in Claire and JJ’s lives back in February. But just like the back of the bottle reads, for “purveyors of good times…there’s revelry to be had…now here in this moment wherever that moment may be.” Sometimes, it’s her husband JJ who needs “to joke and laugh…and think beyond serious…” and so I then raise my whiskey glass to him and we ponder our luck in good friendships. So on this Easter weekend, as we are all “miners of life,” let’s toast to God, Jesus, the Easter Bunny, our cranky neighbors, our awesome neighbors, family, and friends– and I’m going to believe what my daughter told me this morning– that Jesus had a lot of rabbits, and they made him happy. Happy Easter, Passover, and arrival of Spring!