Monday, April 01, 2013

No bunny 'til some bunny...

C3, now 13 years old, was just in preschool when it started.  Even with only a handful of Easters under his belt, he had accumulated a number of stuffed bunnies.  Every year they make an appearance around the middle of Lent (they're so adorable and soft, how can we not let them out early?) and pile up on C3's bed to await the arrival of Easter morning and (the resurrection of Jesus Christ and) another new bunny in C3's basket.

That preschool year, somewhere around Easter, my husband and I went into C3's room to say bedtime prayers and kiss goodnight.  We found him sitting on his bed surrounded by his bunnies, and as we made room for ourselves in the cozy warren, C3, with a particularly fuzzy stuffed rabbit in his hands, looked up at us and said with a precious sigh, "I love you more than bunnies."


We still say it to this day when we want to emphasize just how strongly we feel.  "I love you" is all well and good, but "I love you more than bunnies"...that's serious.

So, last year as Lent got started, I began wondering whether it was time for me my son to grow up a little, whether stuffed animals were still something he would want.  His heart has a generously sized soft spot, though, and because I wasn't ready for him to be too old because of that I decided to do just one more bunny.  Store shelves had long been filled with Easter rabbits, ducks, lambs all waiting to be chosen to sit among chocolate eggs and speckled jellybeans in some child's basket.  But if this was going to be the last bunny, I wanted it to be special.  I decided I would make it.

Knit it, of course.  I had already eyed some patterns, precious knitted toys with button noses and cotton tails.  I finally chose Sophie, by Ysolda Teague, for its long, floppy ears and sweetest face.  For you knitters reading along, I couldn't recommend the pattern more highly.  It is knit in parts, but there are no seams - beginning with the head, you simply knit, stuff, and bind off, and then pick up stitches for the next part.  I used Caron Simply Soft that I've long had in my stash

Much of the bunny was knit right in front of C3, who never asked what I was making, even when it looked a little Frankenbunny-ish as I picked up for legs or arms or ears.  I loved the project, and smiled often as it grew, just as C3 has grown.  It was ready just in time to nestle in C3's basket - the same one the very first bunny appeared in - on Easter morning.

C3 smiled, and perhaps it was just courtesy, but he kept it out when the rest of the bunnies went into liturgical hibernation at the end of the Great Fifty Days.  This year there was only a chocolate bunny in the basket.  Still, he didn't complain or roll his eyes when all those stuffed rabbits appeared outside his bedroom door, and when I looked later he had brought them into his room.

I know they'll be outgrown, and in some ways so will we as our teenager (wasn't he just that preschooler?!) continues to come into his own.  But no matter what, we'll always love him more than bunnies.

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