Saturday, April 23, 2011

Here Comes Logic Reason-tail

The seeds of doubt are beginning to sprout in my sons' minds regarding the existence of such legends as the Easter Bunny. They want desperately for me to look up the Easter Bunny's exact location on the computer so that they can make sure his progress is on par with what they expect. The little task masters want to make sure their baskets, assorted goodies and eggs will be hidden in time for them to wake up in the morning and excitedly pull my wife and I from our slumber.

Yet, when they see the picture of the Easter Bunny on the same site used to track him, they scoff at it. "That is obviously a picture of some guy dressed in a bunny costume," they say. They notice the seams and the fact that he's wearing gloves and has five fingers, including and opposable thumb. They criticize the fact that he is as large as an adult human and standing upright. There are obvious discrepancies. But this simply leads them to believe that this is just an inaccurate photo. Perhaps the site's administrators are concealing the Easter Bunny's true appearance so that he might blend in and escape detection. After all, the GPS device is obviously tracking someone who is delivering eggs and baskets around the globe, so they must have a reason for displaying a bogus photo. That much is unquestionable.

They have other questions about the whole operation, too. How does Peter Cottontail carry all those eggs and baskets? Why does a rabbit have a full name? And if he does have a name, why is his last name Cottontail? Is his tail more cottony than the other rabbits? How long has this rabbit been alive? Is this now Peter Cottontail the Forty-Second?

But their most pointed curiosity as expressed in their questions to me over the past few weeks has them wondering why a rabbit is so involved with eggs. The fact that rabbits, being mammals, don't lay eggs is a hard and fast rule. "So why isn't it an Easter Chicken?" they have asked. To which I have answered, "I have no idea."

I think kids find crazy stories more believable when you as a parent can't explain away all the details. While they may look up to you as the closest thing there is to a human encyclopedia, it becomes painfully obvious to them early in life that you don't know what you're doing sometimes. The, "Hmm, good question. I don't know," approach has its merits due to this. They reason that you're just going with the flow and trying to figure it out the same way they are. If dad hasn't seen Santa Clause yet after thirty-some years, how can they expect to see him after only eight?

Kids also seem to have a sense of the fact that there are people in positions of power who make important decisions behind the scenes and will never enlighten the majority of us as to why they did what they did. Apparently, my sons chalk up the Easter Bunny over Chicken decision to poor planning on the part of the particular Illuminati that makes all the holiday mascot calls. Either that or one of the connected members of the group bred rabbits and stood to gain substantial income via contracting bids should it be a bunny instead of a chicken. Once that was established, hush money has been paid to maintain the status quo. I don't do anything to counter this way of thinking because I think it's a point of view that will serve them well in the future, especially if technology continues to allow the government to have more and more access to our daily activities and, I dare say, thoughts. But I digress.

Logic and magical belief are currently spinning about one another in a marvelous dance inside my sons' heads. This results in them outthinking their own logic. They raise mature questions then proceed to talk themselves out of their doubts in the mental equivalent of a dog chasing its own tail.

For now, it's enjoyable to watch. I'm impressed with how logic and reason have begun to arise in their minds. As a firm believer in the Scientific Method, I'm proud to see them starting to figure things out for themselves. Then there's the parent in me who feels the knife enter his heart as they come closer and closer each year to enlightenment and thus move farther from innocence.

Maybe to combat that, the Easter Bunny will leave behind some muddy little rabbit tracks on the living room floor this year leading to and from the front door. Of course, I would have no way of knowing if that were going to happen. I'm just speculating.

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