Thursday, May 2, 2019

Dear Bunny

Dear Bunny,

I am so sorry.  You didn't sign up for any of this.

Someone gifted you to my daughter when she was about 3, I think.  It seems kind of rude to tell you, but you were never her favorite.  You lived a quiet life in the toy box. You only ventured out for special occasions like "Stuffed Animal Tea Party" or "How Many Bunnies Do I Have, Mom?"

Just before she turned 4, and I found out I was pregnant with her little brother, I instructed her to empty her toy box.  I asked her to pick a handful of things that she would be willing to give to the new baby.  You got picked.

I've been trying to imagine how that felt for you.  Were you happy for a new assignment?  Were you sad she was willing to give you up so easily?  Were you just excited to get sprung from the toy box for a new adventure/some fresh air?

My son took to you right away.  His "B."  You've been sucked on.  You've been thrown into the toilet.  You've been tied up in a pillowcase and tossed into the washing machine. You've been used (many, many times) as a surrogate Kleenex. You've been loved.

And that "love" has taken it's toll.  You don't look like you used to.  Your fur isn't as soft.  You've completely lost your blue bow.  And most recently, your right ear split open.  I promise I'll fix that, but I'm not a doctor and you're probably going to have a scar.

What do you see when you look in the mirror?  Do you focus on the flaws? Do you see the scratched up eyes, the worn fur, the spot where the bow used to be?  Are you tired?  It's exhausting to be so needed.  Trust me, I know.  To be pulled and thrown and stepped on.  To be covered in someone else's germs.  To just want to be left alone (and not touched) for 5 minutes.

When you look in the mirror, do you see the bunny you USED to be?  Because I hope you can focus on the love. I hope you can see that you are so much realer than those toys shoved in the bottom of my daughter's toy box.  I hope you can see that your beauty isn't tied to your appearance.  Your beauty, your value, is in all those messy moments you shared with my son.

You will never be the same bunny you were before you met my kids.  And that's okay.

You're living a life you couldn't have imagined when you were "born" in that toy factory in China.

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.” 

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit. 

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.” 

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?” 

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

- The Velveteen Rabbit, Margery Williams

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