“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 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.” ― Margery Williams,
Yes, I’d say our children make us Real in very much the same way they do their toys. By the time they really see us as real people, our stuffing is lumpy and the joints are loose. We are not the young, beautiful, new parents who had unreal expectations of our tiny babies.
Because every person who has ever raised a child knows that parenthood is often a struggle. A struggle that is hard, and totally worth it.
Love. Love is Real.
Parenthood is Real.