Last summer (2007), Sister Bunny disappeared. Yes, thankfully, it was Sister Bunny and not the Bunny. So for the next few months, Sarah constantly reminded us that she wanted Santa Claus to bring Bunny a new sister for Christmas. Miraculously, Santa delivered. One of his little helpers found the exact same Bunny at JCPenney’s (two, actually, and I bought them both). It was quite the scene on Christmas morning when Sarah tiptoed down the stairs, Bunny in hand, and walked past the dollhouse that I had spent hours and hours restoring, past the fishing poles and the new Barbies and headed straight for Bunny’s new sister sitting on the piano. She looked at Bunny, then looked at Bunny’s new sister, then back again at Bunny, and then turned around and came running into the bedroom screaming, “Mama! Santa brought Bunny a new sister! Santa brought Bunny a new sister!” And yet still, Sister Bunny has not reached the status of Bunny.
So, you’re probably wondering why this is all important, huh? Well, Bunny had quite the adventure while we were in DC. Yep….we actually LOST Bunny in DC. It was Monday. We were spending the day on the Mall visiting the Smithsonian. We picnicked. We played. Bunny got her picture taken on the Metro, with the Washington Monument, in front of the Capitol, and in the flower garden in front of the Smithsonian Museum. Towards the end of the day, DH decided he just had to see the new World War II Memorial…which was WAY down on the other end of the Mall. Fine, we’ll walk down there; luckily we had borrowed a double stroller from a friend. After checking out the WWII Memorial, we started making the long trek back to the Smithsonian Metro stop. That’s when it hit me, and I said, “Sarah, where’s Bunny?” A stricken look of panic crossed her face...then a look around…and then the tears. I told DH to stay where we were with the girls and I ran back to the WWII Memorial (I didn’t know that I could still run like that!). No luck. Bunny was nowhere to be found. I ran back to DH and the girls, and as soon as they saw me empty handed, DH let out a few expletives under his breath and Sarah really started crying. We started retracing our steps. Are you picturing how fruitless this effort really is? We are in Washington DC, for Pete’s sake, on the Washington Mall. As we are walking back, I’m praying like I’ve never prayed before while at the same time trying to console Sarah and trying to get her to understand that Bunny is probably gone. I told her she’s probably having the time of her life, up there in Heaven with Lucky Dog, and Kitty, and my Mama. But she wasn’t buying it; in her eyes her life was over if Bunny was gone. Olivia didn’t quite know what to do, seeing her sissy so upset.
Once we got past the Monument, we got stuck at the light at 14th Street. Very busy street. And then I saw her. Across this busy street, right there on the sidewalk at the edge of the crosswalk. Standing there at the light, I turned around and yelled to DH that I saw her; he’d been lagging behind as I moved with that stroller like a woman on a mission for Earth's last piece of chocolate. And at that moment, time seemed to move in slow motion. As the cars were rushing by, all I could envision was a street sweeper coming by and sweeping Bunny up as I sat there watching helplessly, separated by rush hour traffic. The light changed and we charged across the street. A family walked near Bunny and I heard the Mom say, “Oh, someone’s really going to be missing her,” as she reached down to pick her up. And I yelled, “Yes, we are!” reaching out my hand to take her. Oh…..my….goodness….. Talk about answered prayers.
Truly, what are the chances of that? It had been at least two hours since we had been at that spot, and yet there she lay waiting for us. The whole experience was really quite surreal. Before we found her, I found myself going through my own grieving process. I couldn’t imagine life without Bunny! She’d been everywhere with us for five years. She was a living, breathing extension of Sarah. It made me realize how important Bunny had become to me simply because she was important to my child, and that humbled me in a way. One of the side effects of motherhood I hadn’t experienced yet. Not the humbling aspect of it….I’ve been humbled from the moment they arrived…but more by the effect that a little pink bunny with a star on her chest has had on all our lives. Last year, we started a Bunny scrapbook of sorts. We take pictures of Bunny everywhere. Once Sarah gets older, we’ll present her with a sort of “Bunny, This is Your Life” memorial. Though I’m quite certain that Bunny will be with her when she walks down the aisle.