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
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.