This post could only be about Merrick. . . . and because the Matron has not had a single blogging second since last Thursday, this narrative is an Easter tale.
As Easter approached, Merrick expressed no small degree of concern about the very real (to him) possibility that a GIANT BUNNY --whose very existence held sufficient horror -- hops the earth in one night and "bweaks into kids' houses."
Poor Matron! She didn't want to destroy his belief in Magic! Mystery! The very stuff of childhood. Neither did she want to fuel a fantasy that involved home invasion. She tip-toed down a middle ground, full of discourse on how Santa (because Merrick implicated him too in the break-in situation facing the world's children) and the Easter Bunny were a benevolent sort, bent only on spreading kindness and love. Entering and Magic isn't the same as Breaking and Entering.
Then a new twist emerged: the narrative wasn't just the bunny break-in ahead but Belief itself
Merrick: "The Eastaw Bunny is a stranger. Bweaking in." PAUSE while significant look at mother. "and I know there is no Easter Bunny or Santa. I know it." Then the kicker: "Don't lie to me."
Ah, the Matron was ready for this. She knew full well that her little guy still sort of believed and fully wanted to believe -- just not the chain-saw hauling, bunny- but he wanted to believe. So she told him the same story that worked so well with Scarlett and Stryker, the story that extended their faith another year, maybe two. She told him this story with confidence.
Matron: "The Easter Bunny and Santa are real but they're not what you think. Santa's not a man in a red suit who travels the earth in a sled but he IS real because all the adults in the world make him real. He's a spirit. Same with the Easter Bunny. S/he is real, just not in the way that you think."
Done! Time to move onto other topics. Life after death? Mama has a good story for that one, too, honey.
Merrick: "I KNEW IT! The Easter bunny isn't the BUNNY breaking into ouw houses but the strange MEN that pretend they are the bunny!"
In short, Merrick was convinced --and the Matron's story sealed this -- that strange men broke into houses on Easter and Christmas, alternately stealing and delivering. He's foggy on that. But he's absolutely certain that evil is being done on those two nights, evil in the shape of men who 'travel the earth' and 'make the Easter bunny real' by breaking into people's houses.
No amount of lies, truth, pleading and change-of-topic could dissuade him. His main concern at the end of the maternal consultation? A) Finding a crowbar to sleep with and B) setting up a video camera to capture the deed and alert the world to the terror.
Thank God-Universe-Oprah-Easter Bunny-Santa-Universe-Buddha-Allah, that the Matron was able to wrench herself away from the drama by claiming dire need for an emergency trip to the grocery store. In reality, she hadn't yet finished her own bunny hopping. The irony--and probably mistake -- of purchasing more peeps and chocolate for the very thing that terrorized her child was not lost on her.
She did it anyway. Hey, she needed that chocolate bunny.
Later that night, when she tucked in her cherub the Matron understood her problem to be over. He was serene. Assured. Really truly, Merrick didn't seem frightened. Yes, he had his baseball bat, drum sticks, Nerf gun, air soft rifle and hammer handy. Not much different from a normal night with this child.
Merrick: "I'm okay Mom. Really. I don't think the bad guy will break in and pretend to be the bunny."
Matron: "I'm so glad, sweetie. Tomorrow will be a lovely, Celebrate-Spring sort of day. I promise."
Merrick: "Me too."
And when the poor, unsuspecting Matron went downstairs -- where she hadn't been for a good couple of hours -- she understood why her son went to sleep confident and secure, safe from those home invasion.
The entire first floor was duct-taped shut. Duct tape crossed all the windows, up and down, and across. Duct tape on the front door as high as a third-grader and a chair could reach. Duct tape across the dog door. Duct tape on each porch window, a meticulous web with bells attached (emergency alert, she's certain).
And the fake, scary, strange men pretending to be the Easter Bunny? They thoughtfully left three Easter baskets on the far edge of the back yard, right by the alley, far away from the actual house.
Merrick: "That'll teach 'em."