Friday, February 25, 2011

Easter Must Wait!

My family took out our Easter stuff last weekend and I discovered that my Easter basket from childhood was missing.

“You threw it out last year,” my wife told me.

“That’s my Easter basket from childhood,” I said. “I would NEVER throw that out.”

My son found the Easter eggs in one of the boxes of decorations. He asked if he could hide them in the house for the “practice” Easter egg hunts we do the week before Easter every year.

“Sorry, son,” I said. “There will be no Easter until we find my Easter basket.”

I tore apart our Easter boxes, tossing decorations aside like wrapping paper torn off Christmas gifts, going through Easter grass strand by strand in search of my basket.

“What are you doing?” my wife asked.

“Life stops until I find my basket,” I said.

“I’m positive you threw it out.”

“I believe you,” I said. “But I didn’t throw it out.”

My son asked if we could use his Easter basket for the Easter egg hunt -- a good idea. My son is a real problem-solver. I told him no.

“Remember it broke?” my wife said. “That’s why you got rid of it.”

“If that basket is broken,” I said, “I’ll be furious.”

“It already broke and you were furious. And you threw it away.”

“Even if it broke, I’d try to fix it first.”

“You did try to fix it first,” she said. “And when you couldn’t fix it, you threw it away.”

“Even if I tried to throw it away, I would’ve stopped myself. I woulda buried it in the backyard and we’d be paying tribute to it now.”

“Daddy, I found my basket,” my son said, running up to me with his basket. “Can we do the-”

“We’re not looking for eggs with that thing,” I said, pointing to his cheap little basket. “We’re not looking for anything except my Easter basket from my childhood.”

My wife said she’d buy me a new basket.

“There is no new basket,” I said, “because if it’s new, then it’s not from my childhood. And if it’s not from my childhood, then it doesn’t have memories.”

There was that time my basket and I found the most eggs in the biggest Easter egg hunt my family ever had. It was in that basket that I received my Joe Montana rookie football card from the Easter Bunny one year. That basket had a great, timeless design. And it was durable, too. Yeah, it was durable.

“There’s no way that thing broke,” I told my wife. “That thing was durable.”

“Isn’t this the broken piece from your basket?” she asked, holding up a broken piece from my prized Easter basket.

“That is part of my basket,” I said. “Where’d you get that?”

“Now do you believe me that it broke and you threw it-”

“I told you I didn’t throw it out. We need to look harder.”

“Daddy, I hid the eggs,” my son said, handing me his empty Easter basket.

“I told you not to hide those eggs,” I said. “Now go find them.”

“But you’re supposed to be the hunter,” he cried.

I ripped apart my entire house. I couldn’t find my Easter basket. My wife followed me around with the broken piece of basket in hand, telling me I threw out the basket.

“I know you loved that basket,” my wife said, “but it’s gone. You were upset when it broke. You tried to fix it. You called your mom and asked where she bought it 30 years ago. You called Kmart, you looked online, but you couldn’t find it and you gave in and threw it out.”

I stopped.

“And I announced,” I said, “that we’d buy a new basket next year. I do remember that. And I was going to bury my childhood basket in the backyard but then you said to throw it away. So I threw it away. Then, later that night, I got up out of bed when everyone was asleep and dug it out of the trash and buried it in the backyard.”

“Daddy, I got all the eggs,” my son said, trudging up to me with his basket full of plastic eggs.

“Now go hide them for our hunt,” I told the boy. “I’ll be right back. I’m going digging.”

-April 2010

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