Grandmother, she’s the real deal

To all of us who have been loved for a long, long time, who don’t break easily or have sharp edges, whose hair has been loved off, eyes have dropped out, are loose in the joints, and are very shabby:

HAPPY  GRANDPARENTS DAY

“What is REAL?”
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“What is REAL?” asked the Velveteen 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 [someone] 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 often happen 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… once you are Real you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always.” *

*― Margery WilliamsThe Velveteen Rabbit or How Toys Become Real

OH, You mean Grandmother!

(Who knew that the Skin Horse was describing Grandmother?)

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I arrive before he does.  After a brief glance around the room, I strategically select a spot where he is sure to notice me.  The thought crosses my mind that I may be slightly under-dressed.  I should have worn the skirt and sweater that now lie flung across my un-made bed.  It’s a tricky thing, selecting one’s attire.   Classic is always good, but borders on “old lady.”  Trendy is nice, but difficult to carry off and often communicates “teenager wannabe.”

Good-grief,” I think.  “It’s not like this is a first date, or anything.”  The important thing is for him to find me in this crowded place, feel the unspoken desire I have to be near him, and recognize the almost painful, chest-busting love that I want to give to him.

People are everywhere, chattering.  They blur and buzz.  All my attention, condensed to anticipation in seeing that adored face.  Will I see him before he sees me?  Will he feign shyness or beckon me to come to him.  Will he run into my arms which ache for his embrace?

I recognize his curly, dark hair.  Even from behind, I’d know him anywhere.  He turns slightly, searching.  He is looking for me.   His eyes find mine.  His mouth erupts effortlessly into an enormous smile.  He pushes past everyone to come to me.  I am staggered, once again, at his abundant, effervescent love.  All is well with the world as we sit down together.  The program for Grandparent’s Day at his school begins.