A confession: I decided to major in anthropology in college because it seemed so much more exciting (and romantic!) than English literature, which is what I’d alway planned on studying– and what my parents probably would have preferred. And while I was fairly certain from day one that I would never be– could never be– Margaret Mead or Jane Goodall, I did, for a semester or two, entertain the fantasy that one day I’d make it to the field, where I’d help recover amazing and long-forgotten treasures (a la Indiana Jones).
Alas, in my life so far, there has been no digging, no field and no buried treasure– and that’s ok. But I still believe that there is a special magic in old things, especially when they are particularly beautiful, or useful, or well-loved, and having them around makes me feel just a little more connected to the people and events that have helped shape the world.
My grandmother’s lovely pink and green party apron? Hanging in the kitchen.
The circa-1940 Naval Officer’s Guide from my mom’s boyfriend Al? Sitting on Dmitri’s desk.
And Bunny Two-Shoes, my better-than-Velveteen stuffed rabbit? She’s currently serving as a very lumpy (yet proud!) pillow in Lily’s Pack-n-Play.
Bunny, a souvenir from a trip to Vegas that my parents took when I was two, has been through the wringer. She’s traveled to Mexico and Europe; she’s fallen in the reflecting pool on the Washington Mall; and, over the years, she’s transformed from a once fluffy-white toy into a worn, gray keeper of memories. But even though Bunny isn’t the newest or most interesting or prettiest toy in Lily’s growing collection, she is, in fact, one of Lily’s favorites. And knowing that, 25 years later, this simple object that provided me with so much comfort when I was small is doing the same thing for my daughter feels so very special– even if Dmitri thinks she looks like an alien.
But I’m pretty sure he’s just jealous.