I don't cry at weddings. Usually. This past weekend was an exception.
I smiled as I watched a dear friend walk down the aisle to marry her best friend. I happily listened to the beautiful "I Carry Your Heart" by E.E. Cummings for the first reading. And then the second reading. An excerpt from the Velveteen Rabbit. What is real. My eyes welled up with tears. I surprised myself with a sniffle and tiny sob. The Velveteen Rabbit is just one of those books for me. A story with so much meaning and truth, I simply cannot get through it without tears. I was so very happy for my friends married this weekend, so happy they have found real with each other.
It is my duty as a mother to share The Velveteen Rabbit with my children. So that they may find their own real. Whether that real be a stuffed puppy as a child (like Walking Puppy who was left in the swing during the rain over the weekend), or a best friend and lover as an adult. But I'm not going to like it.
How will I read The Velveteen Rabbit to Laura and Gavin, when I can't even read it silently in my head without sobbing? How, when I can't even think about the story (or the recent reading of it) without tears welling in my eyes?
And what about all those other wonderful, beautiful works of children's literature that my children absolutely must read... though I cannot?
Where the Red Fern Grows (I sobbed through this one during class in 5th grade. Not embarassing at all.)
Bridge to Terabithia (My mom saw I was nearing the end, and sent me up to her bed with a box of tissues to finish. She came upstairs and cried with me)
Old Yeller (To be fair, I thought the new puppy in the movie was cuter.)
The Little Prince (I definitely understood this one far better as an adult, after a childhood of wondering why my dad was silently crying at the end.)
Some day I'll man up, get out the tissues, and start sharing these books. I guess I should buy a copy of The Velveteen Rabbit to start. My most cherished childhood stuffed animals are still very much real. Laura's and Gavin's should be, too.
Pouring my heart out.