I know that a lot of people say that the birth of their son or daughter marks the best day of their lives. While the day we brought Anna into the world is definitely high on my list, it doesn't earn the top spot. Blame it on those pesky contractions. And the fact that our wedding day was, without a doubt, absolutely perfect. I cannot remember any other time in my life when I was surrounded by so much love, laughter, and happiness.
The only bad part was that the day had to end.
During the ceremony, the officiant read this passage from The Velveteen Rabbit, one of my favorite books of all time:
“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”
“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but Really loves you, then you become Real.”
“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.
“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”
“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”
“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get all loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
Happy Anniversary, Mike. I love you and our little family. You make me real.