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Becoming Real-A letter to my daughter - For me, Motherhood has been a journey, not a destination

Nov. 23rd, 2004

11:59 pm - Becoming Real-A letter to my daughter

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I started thinking about this due to Karen's Journal entry and my response.

Ever since I was a little girl, I've loved the Velveteen Rabbit. I was rereading it a few weeks ago when a part jumped out at me.

"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day. "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 your 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."

To my beautiful Daughter,

Someday you will ask me if I am your real mom. I can say that I am, but I need to tell you now that you are the one who will make me your real mom.

It happened bit by bit. I started being your mom one day when something in my heart told me to to look East to fill it. I think my sharp edges started to break. I don't have to be carefully kept--by the time you are old enough to read this you will have thrown up on me several times and I will still take you back in my arms and love you. By the time you are old enough to read this, you will probably have hit or punched me in a temper...and I will correct you.

Will my hair be loved off? I don't know, but it will be greyer than it is now.

Will I become shabby, well, yeah. But sweeting, dear sweeting, these things don't matter at all. I am the one who wants to hold you when you cry. Who wants to make every bit of pain you ever felt go away. I may not teach you how to walk, little one, but I will teach you how to dance. And I hope and I pray that I will be real to you...for then I won't ever be ugly, except to people who don't understand.

And I hope, my precious girl, that you understand.

Current Mood: hopefulhopeful


[User Picture]
Date:November 24th, 2004 07:42 pm (UTC)

Thank you for this!

It's just beautiful! I've saved it to my hard drive to share with my own daughter someday.
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Date:November 26th, 2004 12:52 pm (UTC)

Thank you

Thank you, thank you, thank you. A Hundred Time Thank You.
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Date:November 28th, 2004 09:18 pm (UTC)
I think she will. I'm counting on it.

Middle Way
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Date:November 29th, 2004 07:06 am (UTC)
Beautiful post. Thank you.

JenEx (http://jenex.typepad.com)
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Date:November 29th, 2004 08:35 pm (UTC)
This is also one of my all-time favorite books.

What a beautiful post. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

Fractured Fairytale
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Date:March 21st, 2007 03:03 pm (UTC)

I love this

I just found this post through Stirrups Queen, and I couldn't ask for anything more beautiful. I love it, and I've saved it to refer to in the future when things are tough. Thank you.
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Date:March 22nd, 2007 05:36 pm (UTC)


I just followed your link from StirrupQueens (MANY THANKS for posting it there).

I am awestruck at the eloquence of your words. I got goosebumbs all over my body while reading it. I wanted you to know that I am saving it for future reference as we have just started our adoption journey. Your words have touched me deeply and I sincerely thank you for sharing them.
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