Excerpt from The Velveteen Rabbit:
The Skin Horse had lived longer in the nursery than any of the others. He was so old that his brown coat was bald in patches and showed the seams underneath, and most of the hairs in his tail had been pulled out to string bead necklaces. He was wise, for he had seen a long succession of mechanical toys arrive to boast and swagger, and by-and-by break their mainsprings and pass away, and he knew that they were only toys, and would never turn into anything else. For nursery magic is very strange and wonderful, and only those playthings that are old and wise and experienced like the Skin Horse understand all about it.
“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”
“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
– From the Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams –
This story so reminds me of what it feels like to be a new mom.
I find that I am slowly growing into my authentic self as a mom:
- Mommying isn’t always shiny and pretty and sometimes it hurts and our insides get rearranged. That’s all part of growing into real moms.
- Moms often feel, much like the Velveteen Rabbit, stuffed with sawdust. Over time, we clean out our stuck patterns in order to reach our kids at a deeper level, far beneath the surface.
- We cannot become real all alone. We’re not even supposed to. Real moms collaborate with each other and seek to elevate themselves together.
- Real moms nurture their babies’ curiosity and natural exploration of the world. This happens when we put away the parenting books, the scripts in our heads and let go of any superficial mechanics.
- Real moms find their credibility lies as much with their intellectual knowledge as it does with their ability to learn and teach love and JOY.
- What is The Velveteen Habit? (patricemj.wordpress.com)