In the past I have written about how much I wish to become real as Velveteen Rabbit did, but I wish for it to happen in a different way than it happened for him. You see, a magic spell caused it to happen and, although he was very happy that it did, it seems to me that it was a hollow thing.
Please let me explain...
I have told the story of how Margaret kept me stored safely away in a big cardboard box for many years until she rediscovered me and brought me back into her life a few years ago. It is as if we had never been separated for all that time. I have been included in many areas of her life since then and have learned much about the world of human beings and how life works. Somewhere along the way, after learning about Velveteen Rabbit, I came to wish to become real, too.
There have been many, many things Margaret has had to explain to me since she took me out of that dark old box, and I have learned much, partly because I have asked a lot of questions and Margaret has encouraged me to continue asking about any things which befuddle me--there are still many of those.
I understand a lot more about how life in the world of human beings works; some things are wonderful and some other things are not-so-wonderful. I have learned that there must be both good and not-so-good things so we are better able to appreciate the nice things when they are around. For example, winter is a fine thing because spring and summer follow it, a new day always follows the nighttime, and disappointments must happen sometimes so we may better enjoy the times when dreams come true.
In recent days I have observed how disappointment works when a thing called "an election" did not turn out as Margaret hoped it would, and it has been a long time since I have seen her so sad about the outcome of a thing. So far, she has not wished to talk with me very much about it, but she is not one to avoid something important for very long, no matter how upsetting it may be. There was a time when, as her teddy, I was content just to be there for her and to make certain she had all the hugs she needed and a friend to talk to, but now I find I wish to know more about what she is thinking when life befuddles her. We have had some of our best talks during times such as these. In Velveteen Rabbit's story, he did not visit with his human being as I do with Margaret and I think he missed something very important: it is in communicating with our human beings that we find something inside us called "humanity", and Margaret tells me I have some of that already.
Humanity is a wonderful, yet happysad kind of thing, because it also means I have begun to feel things not usual for teddies. A teddy always feels concern for its human being, but I have also found myself a little worried about Margaret from time to time, for I have learned that while life in the world of human beings is often a wonderful thing, it is also often frightening, disappointing, saddening, and frustrating. Velveteen Rabbit saw some of this, but was not in the middle of it as I am. I do not think Velveteen Rabit understood how much of a responsibility being real truly is.
Becoming real means sometimes having to wait to understand a thing; it is important to be patient and to remember the waiting reminds us how important the understanding will be when it arrives. I have spent a great deal of time waiting, and I am seldom disappointed. Becoming real means that sometimes what I wish for myself must wait until a similar thing happens for Margaret, or Steve, or others important to me. Then, when it happens for me, I am that much happier, for I can fully understand why it is a good thing.
I do not know for certain, but I do not think that Velveteen Rabbit understood those things; a fairy showed up, touched him with a magic wand and he became real. That was it.
There are times when becoming real is very hard work, especially for a scruffy old bear, but, do you want to know something? I can not imagine a life in which feelings, or thoughts, or dreams are not important. Even the not-so-good times are not so bad because better times usually follow them.
Now, after all this thinking, I think I shall take a nice, long nap; that is one thing I think will always be important to this old bear.