11
Dec

Velveteen

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.”

It's one of your favorite books to read.
You bring it along for car rides, you ask for it at night.
To me, it's long, so it's not my go to for us.
Because at the end of the day, this tired mother wants some time to regroup and recharge.
But recently, whenever I pick it up, I can't help but feel that little bunny is speaking to all of us.
Somewhere, somehow, at some point, we all became real.
You stopped being mush in my hands.
You stopped doing anything I needed and wanted because all I had to do was place you somewhere.
You stopped not having an opinion and you became real.
And somewhere between changing diapers and listening to you talk about your day, so did I.

I became a little too soft around the edges, frayed in areas.
I don't look the same, I don't feel the same.
My hair is no longer shiny, and never was a priority, so certainly isn't now.
My appearance was never something I thought I did well,
so I gave up on even wanting to look a certain store front way.
And I became real.
Which means my stitches are a little loose.
I am a little thin and showing some of my seams,
because I am not at all who I once was and you made me real...
just by loving me.

We have stayed up all night to hold you while you cough.
We have slept upright so you could breathe through your flu.
We have held you while medical experts work on you.
We have fed you, with our bodies, with our love.
We have worked with you on homework and skills.
We have stood at doorways and waved goodbye to the eager child desperate to move on to the next milestone.
We have waited for the bus to pull away before breaking down to cry at another loss of you.
We have taught you how to go to the bathroom and how to blow your nose.
We have given you your medicine, never forgetting you.
We have taught you how to be gentle but still stand up for you.
We have put you first, even when we didn't want to, even when we knew it was bad for us.
We have given up our desserts and our last bite that we were saving for ourselves.
We have given up our days for you.
We have started traditions for you, ones we hope you carry with you.
We have read so many stories, fighting through exhaustion.
We have taught you to talk and then speak with kindness.
We have taught you to walk and give you the freedom to run.
We have held your hand, always and always will.
We have taught you that love will fix the broken.
We are raising tiny humans and we have watched you become real.
And with all of that, you made us real too,
just by loving.

We are weathered
we are not the same
we never will be again.
We have bruises and are banged up
because we are loved so hard
and we were made to be real.

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.”

Comments

  1. […] I have been woken up, slept on, held you through the night, held as tight as I could. I have kissed away the pain, I have held you through the hurt. I have been loved on, I have been made velveteen real. […]

  2. […] better knows that all you can do is hold on and come out the other side someone different and a bit weathered, but you are still there. Someone who knows better knows you can't just become their mom and lose […]

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