One of my favorite things about being a parent came to me completely by surprise. I never thought I'd have so much fun being Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny - Ella just now has her first loose tooth, so I'll be adding Tooth Fairy to the list soon.
Growing up, I believed in Santa Claus way longer than I should have. Even when I "knew" the truth, I still bought into the whole story. Of course, having a sister who was seven years younger probably had something to do with. Mom and Dad continued to play up Christmas and Easter for her, and there was this part of me who was willing to completely suspend belief around those holidays. The fact that Sarah and I still receive presents from "Santa" probably has something to do with it, too.
At our house, presents from Mom and Dad and Santa didn't show up until after we'd gone to bed on Christmast Eve - even when we were adults. Sarah and I would go off to bed and listen to Mom and Dad carrying everything downstairs. It was as much fun to listen to when we were adults as it was when we were kids.
But now that I have kids, kids who really, really believe in Santa and the Easter Bunny, I'm the one doing the late night present deliveries, and it's so much fun. Christmas Eve, Brandon, Sarah and I spent hours after the kids had gone to bed wrapping all of the presents - different paper for Santa gifts, of course - and arranging them under the tree.
And Saturday night, Sunday morning actually, Brandon and I were running around in the yard hiding eggs at 2:00 am. I was up to feed Campbell and it was 35 degrees out, so I figured the eggs wouldn't spoil. Plus that way I didn't have to wake up extra early to set them out.
The payoff for all of this is watching Ella and Lily and their absolute belief in the magic. I cracked a confetti egg over Brandon's head late Saturday night and left the confetti on the floor. Ella and Lily were thrilled to discover the mess and came up with all sorts of stories about what happened to the egg - did the Easter Bunny drop it? Did he crack it and leave it as a surprise? Did he do it in everyone's house?
Ella also left a note and a plate of tomatos for the Easter Bunny, and I wrote one back to her with a drawing of the Easter Bunny. She was SO excited to find the note and picture. She has it hanging in her room now, above her basket of goodies.
I dread the day when the magic ends and the kids realize that Brandon and I are the ones behind the presents and treats. But I'll enjoy it for as long as I can. And like my parents, I'll continue to give "Santa" presents until Ella, Lily and Campbell are grown and gone.