My mother recently sent Sawyer a new copy of the Velveteen Rabbit, which also comes with an audio CD narrated by Meryl Streep. Sawyer loves books. He'd love it if I'd read 17 to him before bed. She had previously sent us the Little Engine That Could and that became his instant favorite. But now. But now. It's the Velveteen Rabbit.
The problem with this is I have yet to read it without the words having to squeeze through the enormous lump in my throat.
The book, for those of you who don't know, is about the little stuffed rabbit, a Christmas gift for a boy, who yearns to be Real. He meets an old toy horse who tells him that the only way to become Real is to be truly loved by a child. It eventually happens for the Velveteen Rabbit. He becomes the boy's constant companion, but after the boy gets sick, everything he slept with has to be burned. Velveteen Rabbit is rescued by the nursery magic fairy, who turns him into an actual rabbit.
There is just something so gentle about the message of love, love lost, acceptance and new beginnings in the book. I know I'm getting quite shmaltzy here, but if you haven't read it in awhile, or ever, it's worth another look. Even a teary-eyed one.
I remember hours upon hours spent with my stuffed animals when I was small, especially my pink dog, Fooious. Or perhaps it's spelled Foo E. Uss. I loved that creature literally to its death. At some point, the threadbare, understuffed thing was taken away and replaced by a nicer, plusher pink dog. But I knew.