A basket with Peeps, cheeps, and sleep

Once more the Easter Bunny has come and gone, and executives at the factory in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania where the Bunny gets his marshmallow Peeps are now trying to figure out a marshmallow candy shape that’s fitting on Mother’s Day and doesn’t look like Marge Simpson or Maude.


Again this year I asked readers what they would like in their Easter baskets. And while lots of you did want those Peeps, there were others with very specific requests. Here are a few.


·                     Eileen Fahey Brunetto, academic coordinator at Middlebury College: “I’m getting my braces off on April 13th. What a horrid (though necessary) experience it has been. I don’t really need to see those nasty metal bits in my Easter basket after the orthodontist removes them, but I would seriously take that over any wonderful chocolate.”


·                     Dina Olivieri Townsend, aspiring writer and hospitality sales executive in Charlotte: “I would like a tutor to successfully teach my children how to load the dishwasher, use the hamper, and to wear a sweater when it’s cold.”


·                     Carolyn Tyler Knight, all purpose Bristol and Starksboro area volunteer: “I’d like a better alternative to the colorful, cellophane Easter grass that you find clinging to everything months later and clogs up the vacuum!”


·                     Peter Rogoff, Administrator, Federal Transit Administration: “I would like my 12-year-old son to suspend his attitude for one day and go back to being an adoring, respectful little boy.” (According to Dad, the lad is actually a great kid who, these days, just has serious ‘tude.)


·                     Claire Benedict, co-owner of Bear Pond Books in Montpelier: “A hedgehog. Do you know how cute a hedgehog is? Better than a bunny!” One of her booksellers is investigating how they can bring a live hedgehog into the store as a mascot. Based on the video Claire recommended I watch of a hedgehog playing with a toilet paper roll’s cardboard core, I think they might be on to something. (Yes, there are indeed videos of everything at www.youtube.com.)


·                     Ruth Calia Stives, a gardener and chef who happens to live a few miles from the Pennsylvania Peeps plant (say that five times fast): “I’d love to find a day of fun and frolic with a three-year-old Jeff (my son, who is now thirty). He’s still the most wonderful child a parent could want, but back then he was the personification of joy. I miss that little guy. (Oh, and a Lindt dark chocolate bar would be good, too.)”


·                     Michelle Demers, teacher and writer in Williston: “I would like poems that make my heart sing.”


·                     Brighton Luke, a junior at the University of Maine: “Maple candy and peeps that have thoughtfully been left open for a few days as I never have the restraint to wait for them to get deliciously stale once they are mine. Some stale Starbursts would be good too. Candy is just better slightly aged. “


·                     Jesse Hendee, stay-at-home mom: “The feeling of childhood: Being content with bubbles and a kite that you end up flying only once because it got caught in a tree or a power line; slipping on a new pair of rubber boots and slopping around in the mud; and my brother and sister. That would be nice.”


·                     Andrea Miles Martin, also a self-described stay-at-home mom: “When I was little, I always asked for a white kitten in a white box (with air holes, of course) with a pink bow. Which I never got. Now, I’d just like a nap.”


·                     David Reed Wood, pastor of the United Church of Lincoln: “A northwest wind on a warm day with the sap running like the water in the New Haven River, and friends gathered at the sugar house tasting the latest maple syrup produced – after worship, of course. Seems like a great way to celebrate hope and new life!”


I hope everyone got what they wanted. Even Claire Benedict, because what retail operation wouldn’t be improved with a wandering hedgehog underfoot and a rolling toilet paper core? 


Happy Easter. Happy Passover. Peace.


(This column originally ran in the Burlington Free Press on April 4, 2010.)

Chris Bohjalian

Chris Bohjalian is the author of nineteen books, including his forthcoming novel, The Sleepwalker. His other novels include the New York Times bestsellers Midwives, The Sandcastle Girls, The Guest Room, and The Double Bind.