This bunny was packed in my hospital suitcase, so clean, so soft, and so fluffy. He didn’t have much of a personality then. He lay there in the suitcase for weeks, as I watched my bump grow, decorated a nursery in shades of powder blue, and crossed off days on a calendar. He had no idea what was in store.
This bunny lay there while I hung up tiny outfits on the washing line outside – and then a day later, folded them neatly into the suitcase one by one. He watched as I held each one up and tried to imagine the person that would fit inside. He stayed still and quiet as I imagined a face, the sound of a cry, and the feel of a warm baby in my arms, when I couldn’t really imagine it at all.
This bunny watched as one nervous daddy-to-be zipped up the suitcase and heaved it into the boot of car. He lay quietly as the suitcase was unzipped again at hospital. And hours later, he heard a baby cry.
This bunny was taken out of the suitcase and placed alongside the tiniest, softest, newest human – and that is when this bunny’s life really began. On that first night, while I tried to get some sleep, he watched that new person from the bottom of his basinet, his tiny chest rising and falling, his small lips sucking as he slept.
This bunny quickly became quite attached to his person. He slept with him every night and made regular trips to the washing machine when milk spills, sick, and occasionally even poo spoiled his once-perfect fur.
This bunny was dragged around an apartment by a crawling baby, picking up dust and sand from the floor. He was sucked when teeth started to appear and dunked in brightly-coloured purees when we started to feed with a spoon.
This bunny was carried around when his person took his first steps, his blanket clipping the floor. He lost count of the number of car and aeroplane journeys he was taken on, clutched tight in an excited little fist. Sometimes he was dropped and left, but he always found his way back.
This bunny went back to hospital; this time, to meet a new person. But his person never let him go.
This bunny was thrown during tantrums – but when he was thrown to the other side of the room, he became the very reason his person was crying. And as soon as they were back together, calm was restored.
This bunny was starting to look a bit old. But a curious thing was starting to happen – as the shorter, coarser, and dirtier that his fur became, the more he was needed and loved.
This bunny is three years old.
This bunny is no longer the clean, fluffy bunny that he once was in that suitcase in that quiet house. He is older now – and his tired fur reminds us that time has passed. And no matter how many times we wash him and no matter how many times we sew him back together with a needle and thread, he will never be the new bunny that he once was. But that is OK, as we love him that way. We love what he has become.
This bunny is three years old, but this bunny is so very loved.
Just like his person.
Exactly like his person.