Wednesday, February 17, 2010

"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 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." -The Velveteen Rabbit

I have blogged about Old Baby.
I have scrapped pages about Old Baby.
Old Baby is Jack's blanket.
I am sure I've told the story of how Baby got his name,
but briefly I will again...
I got a lovely blanket for Jack's crib...
it was kind of expensive, and I assumed it would a pretty part of the bedding.
Jack quickly decided it was his favorite comfort item in the whole wide world.
By the time Jack was two, Baby (his name for his blanket), was looking a little rough.
The company that made Baby was going out of business,
so I decided to order another Baby.
Exactly the same.
Then I could swap them out, and Baby would stay pretty.
When the second blanket arrived.
Jack took one look at it,
and declared
ever since then,
he has called his blanket Old Baby.

Old Baby is looking extremely rough now.
At almost nine years old,
he has holes, big big huge holes,
and really long pieces of fabric hanging off of him.
Jack hasn't wavered in his love for his blanket.

I now sneak into his room after he's asleep to take Old Baby out of his bed.
I worry about him getting tangled up....
In what I believe is just an effort to further his Mom's slightly irrational concerns...
Jack sleeps with Old Baby like a scarf around his neck.
So I sneak Old Baby out of bed.
and put him at the foot of the bed.
Jack in return wakes up at some point in the night,
and sneaks him back in bed.
I may have a nervous breakdown...

But there is something about seeing Old Baby,
laying on the edge of the kitchen table,
after dropping the kids off at school...
that takes me instantly back to Jack's babyhood.
while I am convinced he possesses a slight choking hazard...
I love all that blanket represents.
I think it's the most beautiful blanket in the entire world.


essie said...

ooo old baby
we love you too
and your baby momma

pakosta said...

LOVE this story!
how sweet!
Savannah, out of all the blankies in her posession *cute rose blankie that I tried to get to be her fave*, chose this ugly white BIG HUGE double bed blanket to drag around the house! she could barely carry it! it was one of those Walmart ones that is super thin with meshy holes. She used to take her teeth and bite so it became strings! and then it was called "raggy blankie" and still is. I saved a piece of it! She now however will use the pretty tiny baby rose blankie! too funnY!
love that picture & storY!

gabbyfek said...

i love old baby so.
and my old baby.
everyone needs an old baby.
jack's old baby love is just so sweet.

Linnea said...

I still have my blanket. And I know Gabby had hers at college.