Last night my mom held Easter dinner in Fort Erie, about a two hour drive from Toronto. My aunt A and uncle G and their two kids came down from Mississauga, which is right next to Toronto. My aunt looked at me and said, "it's funny that we have to come all the way to Fort Erie to see each other." Dinner was excellent. I love lamb. Although judging by the smells I've been producing today, it doesn't love me.
I get such a kick out of having kids around. I feel like it's good practice for whenever I actually become a dad. With the added bonus that I can hand them back to their real parents when I break them and say, "here, fix it."
At one point, my 10 year old cousin asked, in front of his 6 year old brother, "is the Easter bunny real?" Dad mode kicked in and I responded "Of course he's real. Duh." I think I made him feel stupid enough that he won't be asking that question again for a few years.
Eventually, it was time for the cousins to go to bed. I went into the basement and dragged out my favourite childhood book, Groundsel. I can actually remember auntie A reading it to me when I was young. It seemed appropriate that I should read it to her kids. So we all climbed into bed and I read to them. I did different voices for each character. Halfway through, I forgot how to do Jack Frost and he got a new voice on the fly. Fortunately, at 10 and 6, I don't think my cousins noticed.
Once the kids were in bed it was time for the Easter bunny to come. There's nothing quite so satisfying as trying to outsmart a 6 year old. I came up with some pretty good hiding spots. Luckily, I've been on my share of Easter egg hunts in this house and remembered where the Easter bunny left things when I was a kid.
After hiding the eggs, having a few more drinks, cleaning up some from dinner and having my mother further traumatize me by talking about sex, the adults got to bed around 1 AM. I was awoken shortly before 7 AM by the sound of a squealing 6 year old. I had a lot of fun watching the kids hunt for Easter eggs. My favourite was the one I put in a door hanging ornament. It took them 2 hours to find that one.
I think, all-in-all, it was a good practice run for future fatherhood.
I might need a bit more practice though. I have a tendancy to say things that are distinctly un-dad-like.
My cousin was drinking a virgin caesar this morning and asked, "Mom, do virgins not drink alcohol?"
"Bingo," I interjected, "that's why they're still virgins."