It happened when I was nine.
For years, my older sister and one of my older brothers told me the Easter Bunny didn’t exist. (They also attacked Santa and the Tooth Fairy too.) My other older brother wasn’t so much into teasing me like that. He was my protector. Whenever there was a fight, it was usually us against them.
We lived in the country in a two-story farmhouse. Our nearest neighbor lived a mile a way. I always wondered how the Easter Bunny and his counterparts found us since we didn’t have a street address.
Since it was a holiday, I was the first one up. Being the youngest, I had that privilege. I ran down the stairs, quietly of course, and into the living room. The Easter Bunny always left the baskets on the floor in front of the big console TV.
They weren’t there.
I wasn’t stupid. There was no way I was going to wake the sleeping giant that was my father. I ran back upstairs to my room. My sister was still sleeping. It didn’t take me long to figure out waking her up would also be a bad idea.
I went across the hall to my brothers’ room and woke up my partner in crime. He was groggy but listened to me anyway. We went back down together and I pointed out the grave injustice that the Easter Bunny had done to us all.
He told me to go get Mom and Dad.
I probably did look like an idiot as I stared back at him. But he pushed me towards their room.
I knocked. The only response I got was a snore, probably from Dad. So I knocked again and pushed the door open.
There, beneath the window, sat four Easter baskets.
Well, I bolted into the room looking for mine. None of them were marked.
This was so very wrong. Not only did the Easter Bunny get lost, he forgot who we were.
That was the last straw. I jumped on Mom and Dad’s bed and demanded an explanation.
“He must have gotten lost,” they said.
But I knew better. You don’t get it right for eight years then suddenly screw it all up.
The other two had been right all along. The Easter Bunny didn’t exist. He was Mom and Dad. I was crushed. I ate my chocolate bunny’s ears, because that’s the best part, and pouted.
At least I still had Santa and the Tooth Fairy.