Sunday, April 20, 2014

Bunny's Birthday

When I was a kid, my mom was like some kind of holiday fancy fairy. Her artsy-craftsy side blended with her holiday enthusiasm and her I'm-twenty-five-ness to create a sort of superhero when it came to Christmas and Easter. She had special Santa handwriting and wrapping paper that was consistent from year to year. And, every Easter, she bought a real wicker basket, enough ribbon to circle the earth and miniature, wire-stemmed, ribbon roses. She wove all this stuff through the basket, and out of the grooves, and I awoke every year to a masterpiece of chocolate and oranges and little Dollar Tree toys. After I'd eaten my weight in chocolate, I invariably slept all the way to my great-grandmother's house who lived on a high mountain in North Carolina. I'd wake up in time to hunt eggs with my cousins using my fancy basket and then go for a walk with my mom, grandma, and great grandma on the winding paths that led from the house, under black locust trees, around the fallow tobacco fields. On Easter night, my mom would read to me from The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes. It was magic.

When my parents divorced, holidays were suddenly different. We were missing 1/3 of our little family. And, three-hundred miles away from my dad with nearly no communication, I suppose the loss was rather acute. I don't remember ever crying for my dad. I don't remember ever saying I even missed him. But I did feel strange. I did feel the change.

I think I've said before that I've never been lonely and I've never been bored. For the most part, I'm fine on my own. Whenever I met other kids, I had fun until I stopped and then I didn't want to play or hang out anymore. I wanted a companion who balanced me out. After my parents split up, I guess I needed that even more.

Then one night in the Kmart I walked down an aisle of rabbits. They were stark white with pink noses and differently colored, frilly outfits. I fell in love. I don't know what happened really. If my mom saw something pass between me and one of those rabbits. If she, on a whim, grabbed one and took it home with her. If she went back the next day and searched for that special one. Whatever it was, that Easter morning--the first after my parents' split--I found a flop-eared white rabbit in my Easter basket.

Her name was Bunny. We were instantly inseparable.

About five years in and still going strong.
Over the next several years I moved. A lot. I went to three 1st grades, one 2nd, two 3rds, one 4th, moved again over the summer then went to one 5th, three 6ths, three 7ths and two 8ths before I settled down for a high school experience that was, at best, uneven. The whole time, Bunny came with me. I made friends and lost them. I got new step-parents and lost them. I got step-brothers and half-siblings. I moved and moved and moved and the whole time Bunny was with me. I took her everywhere I might be sleeping. Anywhere I might not come back from. I took Bunny to sleepovers and never hid her from anyone visiting my house. She was my best friend. Anyone else who wanted to stick around would have to get used to her. 

You might wonder why I'm writing about my well-worn rabbit on a blog about Star Trek. But, who do you think watched every new episode cuddled beside me wherever I happened to live at the time? Whose fluffy belly did I cry into when Picard was taken to The Borg? Who was there for every episode, every series finale, every re-run?

Anyway, in addition to being there for a lifetime of Trek, Bunny was here for every single episode of every single Star Trek in 2013.
She also photo-bombed almost every single picture.
She was there on the very first night, as I watched the Trek pilot with my dad. She was there all over again for Locutus of Borg. And, as the project ended, I cried into her shoulder all over again.

Today is Bunny's birthday. A friend recently asked how old she was and I replied that a lady never reveals her true age and I don't know what she was up to before we met but that we've been together for 23 years. In those 23 years, Bunny's personality hasn't changed. (A couple of years ago, I did a short-run web-comic based on our experiences together and then quit when I realized I wasn't very good at limited panel comics.) She's sassy and proper and ageless. She's adventurous and mischievous. She's obsessed with BBC period pieces and 80's action movies. She'll hold on tight while you're sick and punch you in the throat if you insult the stuff or people she loves. She's a homebody and a world traveler. She has a stack of Christmas and birthday cards addressed to her from my family, in-laws, and friends. She's brave and full of stitches. She used to have a velvet nose.

Today is her birthday and she wanted (thanks to those BBC period pieces) a Victoria Sandwich. So that's what she got.
Happy Birthday, Bunny.

1 comment:

  1. Bunny's story! Thank you for sharing it. I've wondered about Bunny. A companion through thick and thin is a wonderful thing to have. I have Thumbelina- she's been with me since 1970 (minus that brief period she spent lost in the wilds of the Queens Zoo- but we don't speak of that).

    "She used to have a velvet nose." XXOO


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...