I have a cold. This makes breathing through my nose a tenuous thing as it is. Most of today, though, I seem to have been able to take advantage of both nostrils, and that is a glorious thing. I breathed in as deeply as I could without coughing and smiled great big satisfied smiles. The muffin shared her Trader Joe’s scratch n’ sniff stickers with me -and I could smell them! And they smelled good! (Did I mention that Trader Joe’s has free scratch n’ sniff stickers? I felt like my 8 year old self today, scratching banana and pizza stickers in the parking lot over & over again.). Or at least, they smelled exactly like they should. Like childhood. Like … Well… Scratch n’ sniff versions of the real thing. Where was I? Oh yes: breathing. Through my nose. It was grand.
As I sit here writing this, I cannot breathe through my nose. In fact, my whole face is swollen. Why? Because of The Velveteen Rabbit. Yes, that’s right: because of a children’s book. The Noodle brought home a paper explaining that starting very soon, they would be exploring “change”, and would be reading & exploring, (among other books), The Velveteen Rabbit. I said something aloud like “oh, I hate that story. So sad. Wretched book.”. The Noodle, of course, wanted to know why.
Me: “oh, Noodle, it’s a beautiful story, but so completely sad – you’ll see. ” (I dissolve into tears)
Noodle: “ok, mom. I don’t want to know any more, you’ll really start crying.”
Me: “it’s a story about this favorite rabbit”
Noodle: “mom, don’t”
Me: “I can’t help it. There’s this rabbit & his boy gets sick” (tears flooding my face)
Me: (waving him off) “and the rabbit wants to know if becoming real hurts & he asks ‘does it hurt?’ and being loved does hurt sometimes, but the saddest part is because his boy is sick, the rabbit is supposed to be burned, and the boy never gets to see him again, but at least he’s a real rabbit.” (sobbing)
Noodle: “Whoa, mom! What the heck are you talking about?”
Me: “come here.”
I find the story online and we read it. I am heaving sobs the whole time. I didn’t mention that when I was a kid, this book gave me nightmares about my toys being burned – and me trying desperately to escape being burned.
Me: “isn’t (sob) that (hiccup) so (deep shuddering breath) sad?”
Noodle: “uh, yeah?”
“mom, you never have to read that ever again, if you don’t want to. You probably shouldn’t.”
Just then Yum Yums woke from his nap and started to cry – right on cue. This made us all laugh.
This was at 3:30 this afternoon. It’s now slightly after 8:30 and I still can’t breathe through my nose.