Tuesday, January 26, 2010

daddy memories #9

Today I loaded up Hadley and drove 15 minutes south to visit my mom. A good rainy afternoon activity. In the city my mom lives in there is a second hand baby/children's goods store. It's hit or miss when I go in there, and while they didn't have what I was specifically looking for, my mom stumbled across a treasure. "The Velveteen Rabbit" on CD, narrated by Meryl Streep and music by George Winston. The same recording I listed to over and over and over again at bed time when I was a kid. It was a find my father made and introduced to my brother and I shortly after a big, the first of our memory, earthquake struck. For some reason, this recording at bedtime calmed and soothed us to sleep, almost as if it was an earthquake repellant.

"The Velveteen Rabbit," also known as "How Toys Became Real," was written my Marjery Williams and was first published in 1922. The story is lovely... The journey of a young stuffed toy rabbit as he is forgotten about by his owner, then remembered and loved so much that he became real.

I loved stuffed animals and baby dolls. I had a bedroom full of them. I would spend hours upon hours in my bedroom playing school, or doctor or any other make believe game that struck my fancy.

Every so often, usually in the morning, my dad would wake me up and tell me that he caught my teddy bear, Sampson, running around the house at night. That he was "real." And let me tell you, I believed him. Sampson was a loved teddy bear - matted, a missing mouth, filthy. According to "The Velveteen Rabbit" rules, he was real. I still have that bear, he is packed down in storage for the moment. And while he doesn't run a muck like my father had my little brain convinced of, he was my loved teddy bear.

As I mentioned in previous posts, my dad was a pack rat and had three garages and two houses full of stuff, including books. I let a lot of the books go, but I did find an old copy of "The Velveteen Rabbit" to save for my children. It's a little ratty and brittle, so it's tucked safely away. But it's a nice thing to pull out, remember and share with my daughters about their grandpa who they were never able to meet. His memory will be kept alive through that story because of the make believe he encouraged in me.

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