Last Monday, Little Son announced that Bunny’s birthday was going to be on Friday. How old did I think he was going to be?
“Well, you are 5 and you’ve had Bunny since you were 1, so I guess he’ll be 4,” I replied.
“No mom, animals age faster than people, he’ll be 8.”
Life as Little Son’s BFF has not been kind to Bunny, so he probably is aging more quickly. When Bunny first hopped into our lives, he was plush and robin’s egg blue with big brown eyes and a pink nose. Dapper in his own way, Bunny carried a big yellow flower and rocked his organza bow. When you squeezed his foot, Bunny would break into a rousing rendition of “Here Comes Peter Cottontail,” waggling his ears back and forth.
Well past bedtime, you could hear Bunny singing and Little Son giggling. Bunny went everywhere with my son, and they absolutely could not sleep without each other.
But years of Little Son’s affections are taking their toll on Bun. After being doused in red Fanta, he looks a bit mangy — with bald spots on his right arm, back, legs and all along his tummy. One ear is permanently bent from being used as a handle, his cottontail just a sad bald nub. Little Son has slowly picked all of Bunny’s stuffing out and you can hear his plastic pieces grinding against each other like a sack of bones. I say Bunny looks “well loved” when others pronounce him “old” or “gross.”
He rides to school with us every day and then patiently awaits Little Son’s return, keeping watch from his car seat perch. One of the things I love most about Bunny is his capacity to dream big. He hasn’t let a little thing like no innards slow him down. We are extra careful with the car keys here, Bunny likes to joyride. More than once, Hubster has retrieved Bunny from the back seat of the car at bedtime. He will slam the back door and hop Bunny down the hall, his plastic-on-plastic footsteps unmistakable. Daddy Man loudly questions Bunny about his whereabouts, and Little Son eats it up with a spoon. Little Son believes Bunny is magic, and we are not the ones who are going to dispel that notion.
Lately I have noticed that if Little Son drops Bunny, he will apolologize to him. “Sorry, Bun.” It cracks me up.
So if Bunny has a birthday, I say let us eat cake! Bunny sat at the dinner table and I served his favorite meal – pasta. When suddenly, the doorbell rang. Little Son ran to the windows to look outside. Who on earth would come by so late?
“It’s a cake!” he yelled.
Lo and behold, Bunny’s family had dropped a birthday package by. Cards and a balloon, a gorgeous carrot cake, a bag of baby carrots and a large bottle of carrot juice.
Little Son was over the moon. We assembled all the goodies, sang happy birthday dear Bunny, ate cake and sampled the carrot juice from colored tumblers.
“I’m so happy, I could cry a little bit,” Little Son beamed.
Me too, Little Son, me too.