Easter Confession

D & M New Can

I am the oldest of three sisters. Margaret is three and a half and Janet is eight and a half years younger than I am. Being the oldest meant that I participated in childhood holiday traditions longer than I should have just to keep the illusion alive. But while I was keeping the secret on behalf of my younger sisters I was working the system to my advantage.

Easter in my house was always the same. The Easter bunny would deliver baskets to our bedrooms while we slept that had some candy, like peeps and jellybeans and a large chocolate bunny or big cream filled egg in it. Then the bunny would hide chocolate foil wrapped eggs all over the rooms we called the big living room and the little living room. These eggs would be for the “hunt” we would have at a reasonable hour before church.

Before Janet came along I always received a bigger basket than Margaret just because I was older, although I think the bunny put an equal amount of candy in each at the delivery. This is something no one could ever prove because Margaret would get up in the morning and before we were allowed out of our rooms for the hunt she would eat all the pre-basketed candy.

I am a real candy lover so Easter was a highlight of the year. But not all candy was created equal in my book. I did not and do not like peeps or black jellybeans. All things chocolate would be at the top of my must have list followed by red and pink jellybeans.

I do not know how old I was the first time that I rearranged the basket contents, but I do know that I took the older sister advantage more than once when it came to Easter baskets. See, I would wake up in the middle of the night, sometime between the departure of the bunny and sunrise. I would sneak into Margaret’s room and get her basket and bring it into my room where I would take all her red and pink jelly beans and give her all my black ones and all my peeps. Then I would quietly put her basket back beside her bed without disturbing her.

Then I would slink up the back barn steps that went from my room to the big living room and in the dark of the night I would look all around the two hunt spaces and scope out where the shinny foil wrapped eggs were. This ensured that when hunt time came I would be faster and better at getting more eggs.

This plan worked perfectly because Margaret always ate her whole basket before anyone could get a look at what was in it and since she ate it before she even saw my basket she was none the wiser. I look back on the hunt as the most unfair, not only had I pre-hunted, but I was so much older that I had a huge advantage anyway. Pictures from the time of us in our Easter dresses and hats holding our baskets, mine overflowing with candy and Margaret’s a plastic grass utopia are evidence of the unfairness.
I long ago confessed to Margaret and apologized for taking advantage. I was probably doing her a great favor by keeping some of candy from her. What I wish was that someone had taken my candy. I certainly did not need it and wish I never developed such a love of the sweet stuff.