Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Page Has Turned

Aly's Bun-Bun. She received it as a baby gift from Chad's aunt when she was just weeks old, and it has been her favorite companion ever since. It has made trips to the doctor, to new houses, to grandparents. We almost missed a plane to Texas once because we had to turn around when we realized it had been forgotten. It has seen plenty of sicknesses and been washed hundreds of times. Bedtimes have been held off as we stop everything to search for the missing friend so that Aly could fall asleep. There was a time when Caroline first arrived that Bun-Bun seemed more like an addiction than a 'lovey'. Though it started off soft pink and white, it is more of a grey color now, with ears that look almost brownish. But it is still Aly's Bun-Bun.

For four years, she would hold it with her left hand and play with it's ears with her fingers while she sucked her thumb. And then she gave up sucking her thumb. Little did I know that by giving up thumb-sucking, Bun-Bun would also lose some of it's drawl.

I wasn't even looking for him big search to calm a crying child. Aly hadn't even mentioned that he was missing. I was actually looking for a lost marker top under Aly's bed and this is what I found instead:

So, with a bit of a lump in my throat, I realize that the sweet baby above is getting bigger. She comes home from school talking about how much she wants make-up, and even uses words like "cool" and "gross". All three of them are getting bigger and I am just not quite ok with that!

I can't help but think about the story "The Velveteen Rabbit". As a brand-new toy rabbit was sitting on a shelf with a worn-out skin horse, they had this conversation:

"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."

"I suppose you are real?" said the Rabbit. And then he wished he had not said it, for he thought the Skin Horse might be sensitive. But the Skin Horse only smiled.

"The Boy's Uncle made me Real," he said. "That was a great many years ago; but once you are Real you can't become unreal again. It lasts for always."

Who would've guessed that being a parent could hurt so much sometimes, even over the tiniest things?

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