Once upon a time, Lexie had a best friend. His name was Bunny.
If Bunny looks a bit well-loved in that picture, it’s because he was. No number of trips through the washing machine would make him look clean again, there were various spots of rough stitching due to surgery by Mom, and his stuffing was squished flat in places. Didn’t matter to Lexie; Bunny was always beautiful. I got Bunny for Lexie for her first Easter basket when she was only a few months old, and he was a constant companion for years.
Lexie, who firmly believed at the time that Mommy can do anything, asked me to make Bunny a sweater. It eventually became a sweater-dress-raincoat-hoodie, but it made Lexie happy, which was all that mattered.
One day, we realized Bunny was missing.
Lexie had mostly moved on; she was no longer sleeping with Bunny every night, and through first pre-school and then kindergarten had gained new best friends. I think she’d probably left Bunny behind at pre-school on her last day, but by the time we realized he was really gone and not just hiding somewhere in her room, there was no Bunny at their lost and found.
All we had left was Bunny’s sweater.
The sweater got moved around from basket to basket in Lexie’s room, and I never considered suggesting we get rid of it. My kids tend to get especially attached to things I make them, and this was the last tangible reminder of a good friend. It really only came out at the times Lexie left it within reach of our yarn-obsessed cats, who love to drag things I’ve knit around the house. This morning, I happened on Bunny’s sweater in the kitchen, and picked it up to hand Lexie, telling her to go put it in one of her baskets.
She reached out for it and then paused, looking at the sweater thoughtfully. “Mommy…it doesn’t really fit any of my dolls now.”
“Ok,” I said. “What would you like to do with it?”
“I’d like to donate it,” she said. “Not everyone has a Mommy who can make them things like you can.”
I had to fight not to cry a bit as I carefully placed the sweater in our donation bin. Time to let go.