Rita & The Easter Bunny
By Jasmine Wood
"Little Peter Cottontail hoppin’ down the bunny trail… "
I will never forget Rita’s first spring and her amazing ability to spot bunny rabbits on our walks from as early as 6 months old, my newborn nature observer! She was exactly what I needed, a constant companion for all my nature observations and wildlife viewing expeditions!
It wasn’t until her second year that we shared with her the story of the Easter Bunny…
Holidays with little ones are always fun, filled with that unique magic that only small children can bring along! Easter, in particular, is a holiday which lends itself to many toddler friendly activities, such as the ever popular art of dying eggs and then hiding these eggs for a special hunt.
Last year was Rita’s first egg hunt!
She was 1 ½ and totally into the egg hunt groove! How surprised we were at her observation and treasure hunting skills. How proud the smile on her little round face when she located a new psychedelic colored egg bearing the name of one of her family members. As she placed each new find into her basket, Mama beamed with pride too.
Make the circle be unbroken.
As we share traditions with our children, that our parents shared with us, we complete the circle! We pass on traditions that are not written down in any book, but rather passed on through ritual and oral folklore.
We share our family’s version of the Easter Bunny; silly little beliefs that have been whispered to young children for generations. These Easter legends causing them to giggle with delight at the promise of an eager Easter bunny who will deliver egg hunts and yummy treats!
I believe that my culture (predominantly western) has seriously over commercialized, commoditized, and sensationalized ancient holidays and traditions!
Now that I am a parent, and the bearer of traditions, I strive to create customs for my little family which emphasize what I believe to be the “true spirit” of holiday celebrations.
I want our holidays to highlight our core family values including togetherness, the small blessings each day brings, gratitude for our blessings, interconnectedness, and ultimately, heart-centered love. Instead of reciting the traditional holiday prayers my family taught me we create our own versions of prayer which emphasize our own personal values.
A new definition of tradition
Is this not the very heart of evolving traditions, each small family molding it to work for them and their place in this world? As we celebrate the holidays of Spring, may we carry with us a sense of self in our family traditions. Let us pass on to our little ones the memories and rituals of our childhood which cultivated the people we have become today!
For all of the little first time egg hunters out there, Happy Hunting!