The Easter Bunny’s Lesson for Managers

by | Parenting, Uncategorized

Spoiler alert.

On Saturday night, my middle daughter came down and asked why I was still awake.

I was waiting for her to go to bed so I could be the Easter Bunny and put out the baskets my wife had made up. But I couldn’t say that.

“Just reading a bit until I get tired,” I said.

“You know I can help you with the Easter baskets,” she said.

I looked up from my book, silent.

“I know, Dad, that you and Mom are the Easter Bunny. And you’re Liam the Leprechaun and Carlos Cupid and the Tooth Fairy.”

I’ll admit: We’ve overdone it a bit, creating imagined creature to leave from fun treats around holidays for our daughters. Our older one has known for a few years, and we suspected our middle one was shakey. But this conversation always comes as a blow.

“I can help you put the baskets out?” she said.

“That’s the Easter Bunny’s job,” I replied.

“Dad!!! One night, you thought I was sleeping and you took the tooth from under my pillow. When you left, I checked and the money was there. I know!!!”

While there was playfulness and pride in her voice, I didn’t budge. “Well, I believe in the Easter Bunny.”

Which wasn’t a lie. I don’t believe in a lot, but I tell my girls that I believe in Santa and the Easter Bunny. The Tooth Fairy is more functional and ad hoc so not a huge topic of conversation. Likewise, Liam the Leprechaun and Carlos Cupid are more recent creations for our youngest daughter.

But I tell them I believe in Santa and the Bunny because I believe in what they represent: a parent’s ability to bring joy and surprise to a child, to guarantee a smile.

Probably like many adults, I remember the day I stopped believing. I was 10, standing on the second-floor landing of our apartment talking to my mom before bed. It began with the Tooth Fairy. The Easter Bunny fell next, and, begrudgingly, the big guy went down with them. No more Santa was a tough pill to swallow. I was glad it happened after Christmas that year.

There is a clear mark in the lives of kids who believe in Santa, et al: the dreamy time before; the reality after that it’s your parents. It’s a well-trod, if slightly sad, right of passage.

Not to draw everything back to work but talking to my daughters triggered an analogy. Many of us believed we could only be productive in an office before Covid. Now we realize that’s not the case. We can be productive working differently, with more conscious trips into an office for in-person work or being almost wholly remote.

Some managers insist that this isn’t the case, that to be part of the team you have to go back to the pre-Covid way of working. In other words, if you don’t believe in the Easter Bunny, you’re not getting a basket.

On Easter morning, believers and non-believers happily ate candy before breakfast and contemplated the mushy, gushy confection that is Peeps. They were equally happy.

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