This passage was read at my wedding. Yet, it holds only the significance of being part of a tender, beloved children’s story. A story not familiar to me until I needed something warm, intelligent and well-written about real love — because *what in the world did I know about that?!* — at the time, early October 1995, I knew very little. A male, life-long friend suggested the passage and I chose it without knowing the entire story.
Months after I left wasband (was-my-husband eight years), I sat on the thinly carpeted floor of the local Barnes & Noble one night and read, finally, the whole little book. (In a nutshell, it’s about a toy bunny who longs to be a real bunny.) At the time of my marriage, the ‘be real’ aspect spoke directly to the disenfranchised, pained part of my heart; the part that felt “un-real” for reasons I would only fully understand a few years later when my baby made herself known. Before her, I went through life constantly afraid someone would discover I was a knock-off, a poor substitute for the real thing: not real.
To cultivate and nurture Love in whatever forms it lives is part of the definition of parenting, I think. Maybe it is also an important element of everything else we hold close and important. Yes, I believe it is.
I still seek real love but no longer doubt my real’ness or place in the world. I am willing to love the right partner and have every last strand of my red-silvering hair loved off by the right heart.