Here we are, Easter 2011. Seems unlikely, really, since Christmas 2010 was only a few weeks ago - or so it feels to a middle-aged gal whose whole life seems to be zipping past faster than a bunny eating spring garden lettuce.
Seriously, when did I shoot past the point of having to hide Easter baskets to having to hide my sorrow over dwindling childhood moments?
"So, we're coloring eggs tomorrow, right?" I said to my son, niece and nephew a few days ago.
The collective groan gave me the answer I have been dreading for years.
"Uh, Mom, we're a little too old for all that," came my 11-year-old's response.
"Yeah, really, Aunt Patty, we sort of moved past that a while ago," confirmed his 13-year-old cousin Scott.
As I began writing heartfelt notes of apology to the 48 chickens whose eggs I was responsible for ripping from their nests, apparently for no good reason this year, I let out a sigh so heavy that it registered ever-so-slightly on the Richter scale.
"Oh my gosh, Mom, it's no big deal!" clucked Kyle as he flew downstairs to his video game roost.
In his defense, you can see why he'd opt for the latter. I mean, he hardly ever gets to play his video games ... except when he's, you know, conscious.
How does it all happen so quickly - the losing of the last baby tooth (we hit that sad milestone earlier this month, too, by the way), the disinterest in egg-coloring, the scoffing at Santa.
Yet, for some unimaginable reason, they never seem to outgrow an affinity for "SpongeBob SquarePants" - where's the justice, I ask?
Linda Ellison of Howland remembers well the day the bloom fell off her son Andrew's wide-eyed innocence - with a resounding and quite public thud, I might add.
"We were at a restaurant and the hostess asked how many kid menus we wanted. Since Andrew was the only one still under 10, I told her we'd just need one," Linda said, still reeling from what happened next.
"Mother! I am old enough to have a meal from the regular menu, thank you very much!" came the rat-a-tat-tat response from Andy.
It wasn't the rapid-fire comment or even the indignant tone that enveloped it which frazzled her.
"I was prepared to go from 'Mommy' to 'Mom.' But 'Mother' really threw me for a loop," said Linda, who immediately aged 40 years.
I assured her she didn't look a day over 80, but I digress.
I guess we must all come to the sad, lonely day on which our children outgrow their desires to play the cloud shapes game or mix up Rice Krispie treats - or color Easter eggs.
And just when I was about to pout in my Peeps - a glimmer of holiday hope.
"Hey Mom, are you like, busy right now?" asked my son as I was boiling the 14 gallons of water needed to make 157 deviled eggs (which seems inherently wrong as the choice for one or our Easter appetizers, but nonetheless).
When I explained that I was making hard-boiled eggs as part of dinner, I got an unexpected Easter gift.
"Oh, well, I mean, if you're making them anyway, I guess I could color and decorate a couple of the eggs. You know, if you need help and all," said the king of cool.
"Sure, if you want; no biggie," I said, clearly hiding the ticker tape parade going on in my heart.
Who needs an Easter bonnet when you get one more year of coloring eggs with you favorite boy in the wide world?
Happy Easter, all!
Kimerer is a Tribune Chronicle columnist. Contact her at email@example.com.