Reaching the finish line of our three mom's conferences is sweet. Yes, I so enjoy seeing so many wonderful women who are investing their lives in the hidden corners of their homes where no one but God sees.
The crowds, hotel food, speaking--it is all a part of my life. But it is not the real part of me.
But, I like what is truly real--being home, eating warmed toast and cheese and raspberries with Joy, hearing all about her weekend, making her tea and sending her upstairs to be alone after her adrenalin-filled weekend--liking the joy of taking care of my very real, sweet daughter-friend. Caring for her centers me and gives me a feeling of what is truly satisfying.
I have to center my life on the real--the personal--the love that I need from a real live person who lives with me, knows me intimately and still loves me.
And so I love these words and this part of the story from the Velveteen Rabbit--but especially this line: 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."
by Margery Williams
(this starts at the point when the Skin Horse and the Rabbit are talking)
The Skin Horse had lived longer in the nursery than any of the others. He was so old and most of the hairs in his tail had been pulled out to string bead necklaces. For nursery magic is very strange and wonderful, and only those playthings that are old and wise and experienced like the Skin Horse understand all about it. "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."
Don't miss reading this story to your children--it is probably more for you than for them.