I'm going to let y'all in on a little secret about the Easter Bunny—Yes, Virginia, there really is an Easter Bunny, a Santa Claus and the Great Pumpkin, too and you can take my word for it. It started several years ago when I was working for Winn-Dixie. I enjoyed shopping there and it was also a good place to work for almost five years. When I worked for Winn-Dixie, I worked in the floral department and dairy and frozen foods sections but one day I was approached by the store manager about a ‘new position.’
I could tell he'd given this a lot of thought because he had a toothy grin on his face, so I was a little skeptical about what he had in mind. The photo lab was offering customers visits with the Easter Bunny —except there was a slight problem. They had a photographer and a brand new Easter Bunny costume but they didn't have an "Easter Bunny."
They asked for volunteers but got none. One of my coworkers spoke up and said, "I know who'd be perfect for the job!" When I was asked, they'd already bribed and schemed to convince me to say yes, so I did. I've often wondered why they thought I'd be perfect for the job — maybe it was my infamous big hairdo or big ears? The real reason is I love children and Easter, so I looked forward to this and it was perfect for me. Some of my co-workers didn't know I was filling in elsewhere and when word got out I soon became the most photographed Easter Bunny around. It's funny when people come up to me and say "Don't I know you from somewhere?" and I just smile and say “yes you do!”
Usually I am remembered for my big hair, my personality or my sense of humor. But, after this stunt it could very well be attributed to my extra big ears or big feet. Prior to working at Winn-Dixie, I'd also worked as a substitute teacher so a lot of those students and friends of my kids remember me as their teacher and Easter Bunny.
From this opportunity I made a lot of wonderful, yet unforgettable memories. I've always been known for making the holidays extra special in some way, especially for the young children, so that year I got talked into borrowing the costume during the Easter season and arriving at our family Easter and my grandmother's birthday dinner as the 'Easter Bunny' and hide the eggs. After the Easter Egg Hunt, I changed back into my regular clothes and my Grandmother Parker was thrilled to see that I did make it for Easter, although she assumed I was just a 'hare' late. She had no idea it was me disguised as the Easter Bunny and said that was the best birthday present she ever got, although, she admitted she never imagined I'd grow up to be an Easter Bunny.
Family pictures also took on a whole new meaning that year as everybody except my children wanted a picture with the Easter Bunny but the smiles on their face is worth a thousand words. The kids say I really am the 'big hare' lady with the big mouth, big ears and big feet — and I still have a spring in my step, which is a good thing because my secret got out with the grandkids and my ‘honey bunny.’
Now a lot of things have changed over the years but the Easter Bunny is back and now has an Assistant with lots of new treats and surprises to make this the best Easter ever. Santa and Mrs. Claus don’t have anything on the Easter Bunny now and he’s all bright eyed and bushy tailed and ready to hop to it, perhaps even arriving on a Harley Davidson.
Let’s not get so caught up in all the fun and excitement that we forget the real meaning of Easter. It’s not just about the bunnies and candy and pretty new outfits but a time to reverently give thanks for the ultimate gift of life and love.
Beth Rowe is a columnist who sees the world around her and tells it like it is. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.