For The Someday Book

Reality Check

Posted on: February 3, 2010

Over the last two nights, I have read The Velveteen Rabbit to B for the first time. Much to my surprise, he loved it. He remembered where the story had left off the first night, and asked me to finish it.

After the reading, as he was climbing into bed, I was tucking him into bed with his special friend Doggy.

Me: Do you think Doggy is Real, like the Velveteen Rabbit?

B: No, he’s just a toy.

Me: The Velveteen Rabbit was a toy too, but he became Real because the boy loved him so much. You love Doggy, so do you think he could become Real?

B: (adamantly) No, he’s a toy. He’s not real. He’s a nice friend, but he’s going to stay a toy.

B has a great imagination, but very clear boundaries between real and pretend. A budding atheist, perhaps? He takes after his father that way.

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3 Responses to "Reality Check"

I enjoyed your blog, Jen! I also have been writing down random thoughts for years, in the hopes of putting them together in a book, along with my photos… Your velveteen rabbit blog was so cute. It reminded me of Toby’s girlfriend’s little 4 year old, Kendan…
Kendan wasn’t behaving well around christmas time, and a friend of Jen’s recommended the “shelf elf”. Its an elf you put on a shelf in your child’s room, and it comes with a book you read, that explains that the elf sees all you do, and if you are bad, he’ll report back to Santa…( crazy gimmick, i know!)…So Jen gets that elf, and Kendan loves it! His behavior actually gets better…Then one day, inevitably,Kendan had a meltdown….
He was crying, screaming, having a tantrum, and Jen starts saying, “You know the elf will have to report this back to Santa…” Kendan says, I get that the elf knows all that I do! I get that he tells Santa if I’m good or bad… BUT STOP TELLING ME THAT SANTA DELIVERS TOYS TO EVERY SINGLE KID IN THE WORLD!!!!! THERE”S NO WAY HE COULD DO IT IN ONE NIGHT!!! ITS JUST! NOT! POSSIBLE!!!!!!…( while waving his arms up and down)…..Jen thought she was going to die laughing, and I crack up every time I think about that story….Thought you’d enjoy it…:)….Poppy

Thanks, Poppy! Great story! We have the elf on a shelf too–my sister gave it to us. You should start a photo blog–that would be a great way to see your photos.

[…] Watching the trauma over the last few weeks, I find myself awakened to the color and depth of his imagination. When he pretends to be someone else, when he plays at cowboy or astronaut or mother or baby or firefighter or race car driver, he becomes that person in his own mind. The sharp edges of logic and rationality have not yet hardened into points, cutting the painful gash between imagination and reality. (For a word about where B does get clear about real vs. pretend, read here.) […]

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About Me

I am a full-time pastor in the United Church of Christ, mother of a young child (B.), married to an aspiring academic and curmudgeon (J.). I live by faith, intuition and intellect. I follow politics, football and the Boston Red Sox. I like to talk about progressive issues, theological concerns, church life, the impact of technology and media, pop culture and books.

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