...I grew up believing my toys were living things. I was a quiet kid who spent her childhood collecting snails and having tea parties with stuffed animals and toys. I spent a great deal of my youth taking every one of my beloved toys to bed with me out of fear that one (or many) of them would feel left out. I had hammocks hanging in all corners of my bedrooms keeping stuffed animals safe and sound... and together... with friends and family.
I think my mom finally got rid of all my stuffed animals when I moved out, but she certainly didn't tell me about it because had I KNOWN, I would have been LIVID. Even now I can't help but wonder where my giant stuffed unicorn went... the one with the gold horn and the matching hooves... And is she happy there? Is she happy...?
I took the words I read in The Velveteen Rabbit to heart in those days, and I guess I never really grew out of the mindset I had as a little girl. I never stopped believing that the skin horse was right about the velveteen rabbit (and all things) when he said:
"Real isn't how you are made... 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.... 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 the joints and very shabby... once you are Real you can't become unreal again. It lasts for always.”
Eating with my crew, 1985
Anyway, I BELIEVED this to be VERY true. I still have my most beloved "Woolfie" and "Mousie" here at the house because I loved their fur clear off and there is but one eye left between them and you could not pay me to get rid of them. They are living things to me. And while many of the toys in my house have never been loved that much, I feel the need to treat them all with respect? As a result, my house is overflowing with toys we absolutely do not need anymore, ahem...
...You can read my entire post, here...