God sometimes gives us unexpected gifts. Our gift has been a grandson who enlivens our lives and makes retirement very different than the one we anticipated. He is a special joy. And that's "Casey." In 2006 we fulfilled our dream of living in Italy for a year. It was every bit as wonderful as anticipated. This blog begins in 2005 as we prepared for that experience. Since then we have explored many places together. That's the "Travel." And finally, I am a person of opinions--spiritually, politically, on just about anything and that's the "Other Stuff." Welcome to my blog.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

My Boy and The Velveteen Rabbit

And when the Boy dropped off to sleep, the Rabbit would snuggle down close under his little warm chin and dream, with the Boy's hands clasped close round him all night long.
The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams, written in 1922

I know this boy. He lives with me.

Does he live with you? Is your little boy a little girl?

If ever we doubt that the tenderness of children crosses time and boundaries, this child and this rabbit teach us otherwise. And the magic for us lies in the tenderness and purity of love which fill our hearts as we respond to innocence in our lives.

And once, when the Boy was called away suddenly to go to tea, the Rabbit was left out on the lawn until long after dusk, and Nana had to come and look for him with the candle because the Boy couldn't go to sleep unless he was there.

At 10, my Boy is still the Boy of the story. His Rabbit is a furless, treasured Dog. Sleep doesn't come if Nike is not snuggled under the chin as Boy holds Dog tight all night.

...he always made the Rabbit, a little nest somewhere among the bracken, where he would be quite cosy, for he was a kind-hearted little boy and he liked Bunny to be comfortable.

In the morning, my Boy puts Dog in his own little bed, in his own little house so he can rest during the day and be ready for the night.

He has given Dog a pillow to rest his head and his own velveteen companions. Dog has a place to dream until his Boy needs him again.
...the little Rabbit grew very old and shabby, but the boy loved him just as much. He loved him so hard that he loved all his whiskers off, and the pink lining to his ears turned grey, and the brown spots faded.....he scarcely looked like a rabbit anymore, except to the Boy. To him he was always beautiful, and that was all the Rabbit cared about. He didn't mind how he looked to other people, because the nursery magic had made him Real, and when you are Real shabbiness doesn't matter.

And that is what I hope I teach my Boy.


Rebecca said...

Nothing better than a picture of a sleeping child. Although my daughter didn't attach to any one toy, my son has always had "Mr. Bear". He's been through numerous washings and mendings and has lost a bit of his fluff in his 6 years. But, he is loved today just as much as before and is never left behind. Nike is a lucky dog.

Trekcapri said...

Hi Jane, this is such a wonderful post! And that is a great photo of Casey fast a sleep.

jmisgro said...

Oh, how sweet!
My oldest had a little bunny that she carried everywhere for a couple of years until it fell apart. I have photo of her napping with her head on it. It's so sweet too!
Sophia had a John Lennon giraffe that she played with until she got Caillou, then Dora, and so on!

Anonymous said...

One of my favorite stories and life lessons, Jane :)

Anonymous said...

WOW - that was sooo amazingly touching. You have so empowered Casey to grow as a wonderful caring young man.
Harriet Sculley

Chiocciola said...

So sweet, Jane! I bet there was trouble if he ever got lost... I had a bear I was extremely attached to. I really wouldn't do anything without it. Still makes me feel good thinking about it!

Jane said...

Rebecca, Snail, JoAnne, Harriet, Kathy and Maryann--I am so glad that you enjoyed this post as it really meant a lot to me. I have always loved the story and will be reading it to Casey's class next week. When I reread it in preparation, I was struck with how much it paralleled Casey. He is the Boy in the story--all the way.Children have always been children--we forget in our modern world with all its gadgets how pure our kids are.

Anonymous said...

Such a sweet, sweet story. I love looking at pictures of my sleeping children. We still have Adam's Bunny Bee around somewhere. It was tattered and torn, but that never mattered, OTOH, Jordan was never attached to anything - he just ran &/or talked til he dropped!


Deb R said...

Oh Jane, how sweet! You are so right...we all need a Velveteen Rabbit in our lives! Magic lasts forever!