Every kid has their lovie, that tangible piece of cloth that makes them feel safe, secure. Rumor has it, my husband or his brother (can't remember which) had a cloth diaper for a lovie. They go everywhere with you and are often a source of stress, when you leave them behind, or misplace it somewhere. Some kids attach to one thing, others have a multitude of lovies, the favorite changing from day to day.
As a toddler, my oldest daughter had a kitty, a blankie and a binkie. Binkie was as much a lovie as the other two, but at some point you have to give that thing up. Most kids reach a natural parting of ways with their lovie, I think (some later in life than others) and the problem with the binkie is that it has other repurcussions, such as messing with your teeth if you suck on it all night. At 2, we decided it was time for Ruby to give it up. My husband made up a story about the "Binkie Bird" (I don't recommed this approach, by the way). He told her that the Binkie Bird would come and take her bink and give it to some other child in need and sure enough one day her binkies disappeared. Oh, how she cried. That binkie bird scared her and she was so heart broken. I wanted to make her feel better, but I didn't want to back track, so I gave her my childhood lovie...dear old Rab.
Rab was once a stuffed animal, white fluffy, lovable. I loved him so much over the years that he became a mass of worn out dirty gray cotton. My mom patched him up each time he lost an eye, (replacing his plastic parts with cloth) or wore a hole in his fur, at one point I carried around one of his feet as my lucky rabbit's foot. He looked haggered and when I was 12, I finally decided it was time to retire him. My mom helped me make a cloth box for him to permanently rest in (aka a cozy coffin). Rumor has it when I was 4 or 5 I dropped Rab in an airport parking lot one rainy night and my mom had to go back and find him because I couldn't sleep without him. I vividly remember lying in bed with Rab as a kid, telling him my troubles. There was this one patch on his back that I could stick my finger in and feel his insides. For whatever reason, that was a great source of comfort for me.
When I gave Rab to Ruby, she loved him immediately, but she also wondered a little about the looks of the ol' boy, tattered and torn, loved to pieces, literally. What was left of his body lived inside a little blue and white gingham bag and his head was the only part of him that stuck out of the bag, sort of in tact enough to be out. At some point in the last few years, Rab got attacked by our dog. He lost an ear, half his face and his insides were really torn to bits. His dirty stuffing looked like strings of something, he was a mess. I think she cried when she found him, but she put him in his trusty little box and he lived on her bookshelf or under her bed, or wherever else the many stuffed animals she has go.
This Christmas, out of the blue, she wrote in her letter to Santa that what she wanted was for Rab to get a new face, for him to be put back together like new. At 11 pm on Christmas Eve, I didn't have it in me to attempt anything of that sort (no supermom award here) and Santa didn't bring his sewing machine when he came by. She had placed Rab at the end of her bed, safely tucked in for the night, I'm sure with high hopes of waking in the morning to a new and improved Rab.
I asked my mom on Christmas morning if she might help me attempt a Rab reconstruction in the near future. Of course, she said yes. On Monday, my daughter came home from Mamma's (my mom's) full of excitement. They had been working on Rab, making him a new face. Yesterday afternoon, my mom showed up after work with the new Rab. I hugged him to my chest and almost cried. Ruby was thrilled, slept with him last night and told me how much she loved him and that he smelled like Mamma. She even knew that his cheeks were colored from Mamma's lipstick. "Smell it," she said, "doesn't it smell just like her?" You could see in her eyes the comfort she found in him. I know it isn't so much Rab, as it is the idea of him, the love that was poured in to his revival and the Mamma who would go to the ends of the earth to satisfy that little girl's heart's desire. Thank you, Mamma, what would we do without you?