Monday, December 29, 2008

The Velveteen Doggy

Seesa has a pink stuffed dog, named "Soggy Doggy". Grammy gave it to her when she was born. He is just a simple toy from a drug store, but the story her Daddy tells Seesa is that Grammy found him in the woods and brought him home for her.

"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."

"Soggy" got his name because Seesa would gnaw on his ears and tail when she was a baby, so he was always wet and soggy.

"Does it hurt?" asked the rabbit. "Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."

From the time Seesa was a baby, she has not gone to sleep without Soggy Doggy. She carries him around everywhere, sharing her every moment with him. Even today at 5 years old, wherever she is, generally so is Soggy.

"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?" "It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept."

This Christmas, Seesa asked for another Soggy Doggy. Not a replacement, mind you. Just another one. I thought about trying to repair her Soggy by adding some stuffing to his limp body and dying his now grayish fur to a shade closer to it's original pink color. Then one night, my husband deciphered the toy maker from Soggy's very faded tag, and he miraculously found the exact stuffed dog on ebay. In keeping with the story of Soggy's emergence, my husband and Seesa took a little hike in the hills behind our house, where they "found" the new Soggy Doggy.

The beautiful thing is, Seesa has not tossed the old Soggy Doggy to the wayside. Quite the contrary. She now totes both of them around everywhere. The two Soggies even "play" with each other. The other night, we went out to dinner and Seesa asked me if she could take the Soggies in to the restaurant with her. I told her I thought she should leave them in the car, and she said,

"But Mom, new Soggy hasn't seen the world yet!".

When I compare the old Soggy Doggy to the new Soggy Doggy, it's apparent to me just how real Soggy has become.
It is also apparent to me, that I am learning from my five year old, just what it means to be real.

"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 your 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."


Sophie, Inzaburbs said...


We have the same story at our house with a pink poodle named Daisy. When Daisy Too arrived at Christmas, I almost expected Daisy to be cast aside. Instead she gained a sister!

BTW I love your photos!

Kirsten / Mama Ginger Tree said...

Great, now I'm crying. Thanks a lot.

anymommy said...

Lovely. Real is in their hearts. It makes you young to watch them. I love that Dad took her for a hike!

the RaMbLeR said...

I'm with Kirsten, I am boohooing!

SM has a brown Floppy Doggy! I may have to round him up for picture day. ;)

BTW-go over to my place-I have an award for you!

Anonymous said...

That was awesome!!!

Makes me think about the things my girls drag around with them that often annoy me. I suppose I should hop on board and join in the real-pretend world they live in.

love you!

-Saved by Grace

bernthis said...

God Bless Ebay. It is amazing. Facebook, ebay, Craigslist, all have changed my life, literally.

For Myself said...

A hike - that is so sweet, and she'll surely remember it forever!


Blog Designed by: NW Designs