Thursday, July 16, 2009

to hold

I've given up every other toy from childhood: barbies, dolls, and porcelain cats. Everything except stuffed animals.Sometimes..when I feel really horrible I'll squeeze one really tight..and it it truly does make me feel better. I've had a brown bunny ever since I was a little kid. A couple years ago I realized it was a model of the bunny in The Velveteen Rabbit. If you haven't read the story lately, may I suggest a refresher

It reminds me of my bunny whose whiskers are long gone and it is just a good metaphor for love in general.
a favorite passage:
Weeks passed, and the little Rabbit grew very old and shabby, but the Boy loved him just as much. He loved him so hard that he loved all his whiskers off, and the pink lining to his ears turned grey, and his brown spots faded. He even began to lose his shape, and he scarcely looked like a rabbit any more, except to the Boy. To him he was always beautiful, and that was all that the little Rabbit cared about. He didn't mind how he looked to other people, because the nursery magic had made him Real, and when you are Real shabbiness doesn't matter.
This somehow reminded me of the study conducted by the psychologist Harry Harlow. He was trying to disprove that attachment formed from nourishment (food). He raised a baby monkey with both a wire monkey which held a bottle, and a foam mother covered with cloth but no bottle. To the surprise of many psychologists, the baby overwhelmingly chose the cloth mother, even while feeding from the other.

the point: that yes touch is a basic human extinct- even if we are not monkeys.I will be the first to admit I'm not a huggy feely person, but everyone needs an occasional touch. So give someone a squeeze (even if it is a surrogate stuffed animal).


  1. Ah it is so true, hopefully I will find something good for my baby to be attatched to. I keep telling Gabe whatever we get like that there should be two in case one ever is dirty or ruined. The Velveteen Rabbit story always made me sad though, I can't remember why...

  2. well the rabbit does get thrown away at the end so the boy's scarlet fever doesn't spread.... but its kinda happy too because the rabbit is changed into a real rabbit :)