"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "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 doesn't happen all at once. You become. It takes a long time. 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. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."
And we couldn't help thinking of Big Duke, our 5 year old's beloved stuffed bulldog that has slept with him every night since he was 2 years old.
It gives me great joy to tuck my little boy in with Big Duke every night. A faithful buddy for him to cling to and cuddle with.
Big Duke has been LOVED. He's been washed many times, lost and rescued. You can still buy a stuffed dog like this from Ikea (that's where we got Big Duke) but we have one that we bought just a few months after Big Duke to serve as a spare, but according to my son that other stuffed bulldog, "Is NOT Big Duke!" He's never accepted the imposter! But recently we were at Ikea and a little boy was getting a stuffed bulldog like Big Duke and my 5 year old and I smiled and talked of how happy we were that another boy was getting his own Duke!
To any outside person Big Duke looks dingy, worn-out, like he's seen better days.
But, we know the truth, Big Duke is Real!
Find more Thankful Thursday here.