In the Velveteen Rabbit, the rabbit talked to the old horse and learned what it meant to be real. The rabbit enjoyed the burrows the boy made for him under the bedding, being squeezed almost too tight at night...the rabbit was real, to himself and to The Boy.
In our home we have several dearly loved lovies. Baby Jaguar was real almost the moment he went into Sweet Pea's arms. Sweet Pea moves him in such a way as to almost convince you his lovie is looking at you intriguingly, or beseeching 'please, don't let him strangle me yet again'.
Baby Jaguar took quite a hit Saturday night. Sweet Pea was tossing and swinging him around just like every other night having fun and squealing to prove it. But the floor met Baby Jaguar's eye and his eye remained on the floor. It broke right off and lay there looking up at us. Suddenly there was silence and a look on Sweet Pea's face that I never saw before. I reassured him we could fix it, he dutifully started brushing his teeth and then reality set in and the screaming crying began. Can you relate?
Sweet Pea must have cried for a good half hour. In that time he managed to say he hurt because he hurt Baby Jaguar. To him, Baby Jaguar is very real, something to be protected. To me I could see just how much sadness was in his heart having hurt something (someone) he loved so dearly.
Sweet Pea hurts so easily when others hurt him and almost always says 'I'm sorry' very sincerely when it was someone else who hurt him, as if he's sorry the person is supposed to feel bad about what they did.
I would love for my boy to somehow grow up holding onto this sensitivity, yet combining it with strength, courage, leadership...to grow up protecting those he loves.