I have never told my daughter about the Easter Bunny and his basket of eggs because he doesn't exist here. As someone (hi Pat!) pointed out to me the other day, the nearest we'd get to the Easter Bunny in Italy is on a plate with some potatoes and carrots.
So at lunch today when Nonno pulled a tray or roast potatoes out of the oven I exclaimed, "We're not having rabbit for lunch are we?"
"No, chicken, why? Did you want rabbit?"
"God, no," I replied and tried to explain to the family about the tradition of the Easter Bunny. I concluded my explanation by saying "so eating rabbit at Easter would be kind of like eating Santa Claus for Christmas dinner..."
After lunch Carlo headed back up to the cemetery,
"I think we'd better go too." I said to Nonna, " I don't want to bump into the funeral procession on the way down." The footpath leading up towarads Nonnas house and the cemetery is very very narrow and not an ideal place to try and squeeze past 6 men holding a coffin aloft and a crowd of mourners.
As Skye skipped ahead of me I called after her, the usual safety instructions that parents call to their kids.
"Don't run too fast!
Stop and wait for me at the bottom!
If you see men carrying a coffin, stop running and go stand quietly in a doorway.
Do not push past them, please, wait quietly.
"OK, Mummy, if I see a funeral I'll stop and wait, byeeee!" And off she ran.
We got home and I felt bad about keeping the Easter Bunny a secret, so I crocheted her a little bunny and fed her a few chocolate eggs. Outside the sea crashed, the wind blew and people shivered, pulling their coats closer to them. She painted happily, wrecking the living room table, while I sewed the last floppy ear onto her little bunny. I tried to distract myself, but visions of sliced Santa on a platter kept flitting before my eyes...