Tonight we were talking about how @ has admitted a new member to the circle of "guys". Woobie/aka Green Blanket, Doggy, and Peno are the "guys" (stuffed animals) that feature most prominently in @'s life. But of the late he has allowed in little green bunny rabbit. And tonight he asked if he had always had green bunny. I explained about yellow bunny rabbit and told him the story of yellow bunny rabbit.
Yellow Bunny rabbit was sent to us in Africa by my sister Jennifer. Jennifer is very good at holidays and gift giving, she remembers them and does them WELL. She's that person. So my sister sent our 8 month old child an easter basket complete with the annoying green grass, which Jennifer says is the best part (this was before she had kids). And @ didn't make much of it, he's 8 months old. He did latch onto the yellow bunny rabbit finally, but the rest of the uber-stimulating, learning toys were not so much a thing. He liked to pet and chew yellow bunny rabbit.
That December we were asked to leave and he had made an attachment to the rabbit and it came everywhere. So when we went to say final goodbyes to my dear sister Ab, yellow bunny rabbit came along. At some point in the flurry of what was a very quick trip, yellow bunny rabbit didn't make it in to the car. This happens to everyone and its normally not a big deal, you swing back by or pick it up next time. Problem is that we are flying out of the country in 5 hours and I will probably never see this person again on this earth. And you are throwing your 18month old into a world of flux and the least you could do is provide him the stability of the yellow bunny rabbit. So my friend knows we need this bunny and I don't even know its gone. She travels out to the airport at 10p.m. to bring the boy's yellow bunny rabbit. And we cry and say goodbye again...awful.
We get back to the states at christmas and are living with the grandparents and my sister says why don't you come down and stay at my house for a while. She's still living in her post Katrina apt and her house is sitting empty. A good excuse to have someone in the house, bring down some of her belongings she had left in IL and we could see her a little. And we could avoid the question of what next for a few weeks. So we're off to New Orleans. We load up the huge boat of a Crown Vic we've borrowed (thanks to my very extended adopted family) and yellow bunny rabbit is in tow.
During our time there we do some shopping. We have a few pieces of winter clothes and @ has very little. So one day we are out at the K-Mart. New Orleans is having lots of sales tax holidays to help people afford to buy stuff, particularly home remodeling stuff, post-katrina. And we're thinking we could buy this stuff in IL or we could help the local NOLA economy and buy there. So we're shopping. We get out to the car and there is no yellow bunny rabbit. Its a windy day, we start scouring the parking lot. Then we go back in the store and somehow try to convey to part-time, post-traumatic stress NOLA K-Mart employee that WE MUST FIND THE YELLOW BUNNY RABBIT! And so I'm trying to convey the urgency of I lost my home and I can never return and all I need to feel ok is for my kid to have this yellow bunny rabbit. K-mart guy= not getting it. So after searching the store, the parking lot and begging the guy to look one more time in lost and found, yellow bunny rabbit has returned to her home in NOLA.
The rest of the night I'm sick at heart. How could I have lost this yellow bunny rabbit and now we have nothing left. Not even the bunny rabbit. And I commenced boohooing all over again.
I didn't share that last bit with @, nor the frantic un-ravelled mom I was. But tender hearted @ did ask about "where is yellow bunny rabbit now?" And we talked about how maybe some other kid has him and its ok to loose a "guy" sometimes, we have others and the old ones are special memories... Very unconvincing explanation, I'm sure. So after the story, which I didn't intend to be a tragic reminder of loosing his toy, he suggested "we put up signs on all the trees so that if someone finds yellow bunny rabbit they could return him. " All the trees between here and NOLA... another explanation for another night.
remind me to tell you sometime how he came by green blanket...