Of Boys And Bunnies
My son has started his freshman year of college and appears to be
functioning just fine without his mother. I'm trying hard to forgive him
On the drive home, after we'd helped him move into his dorm room and I'd
made enough of a blubbery scene to thoroughly embarrass my boy, I got to
thinking about his first day of preschool. On the short drive to the
school that day, he'd clutched his favorite toy ? a stuffed bunny he'd
inexplicably named Malcolm ? and tried to be very brave. So did I.
"You're going to have a wonderful time!" I remember saying too
cheerfully. He didn't look convinced. He kept rubbing his finger across
Malcolm's head, something he did often to comfort the rather emotional
"It makes Malcolm feel better," he'd once explained to me. I think it
probably made my little man feel better, too.
I remember praying silently on that drive that he would like school and
that the other kids would be nice to him and that his teachers would be
smart enough to see how utterly special this blue-eyed child was ? head
and shoulders above any other kid in the school or any other kid in the
world for that matter. Maybe I was a little biased. But only a little.
When we arrived at the preschool, he got out of the car with Malcolm
tucked under his arm. I reminded him that Malcolm would have to stay
with me. I promised to take good care of him.
"He'll be right here waiting for you when I pick you up," I said. I
sounded like Mr. Rogers, way too cheerful.
For a moment, those blue eyes brimmed with tears. He rubbed Malcolm's
head several times to reassure him, then placed the rabbit back in the
car. I still remember watching, through my own brimming tears, as he
lovingly strapped the little rabbit into the car seat.
"You stay here, Malcolm," he said, stroking the bunny's head one last
time. "Only people can go to school. I'll be back soon. You'll be OK."
When we got home after dropping our son off at college, I went into his
room and reached into the top of his closet, way back behind the boxes
of video games and soccer trophies, and pulled out an old stuffed bunny.
His ears are frayed now, and his fur looks matted; the seams in his body
are visible. The top of his head is bare in several places, worn down to
the fabric by a little boy's fingers.
"Hi Malcolm," I said to him, sounding again like Mr. Rogers. "Long time
I sat down on my son's bed and just stared at Malcolm for awhile. I
rubbed his head several times. I think it made him feel better.
~ Jackie Papandrew ~
Copyright © 2010
All Rights Reserved
Jackie Papandrew is an award-winning writer, syndicated humor columnist, coffee addict and mom to a motley crew of children and pets who provide a steady stream of column ideas and dirt. She's also wife to a very patient man who had no idea, years ago when he still had time to escape, what he was getting himself into. Visit her website at: JackiePapandrew.com
Jackie Papandrew Copyright © 2010, (firstname.lastname@example.org) -- submitted by: Jackie Papandrew ]
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