The Joy of a Fluffy Pink Bunny Rabbit

Pink Rabbit in a Pink Coat

Can you imagine a grown man, looking all rough-and-ready in his Carhartt jacket, walking along the sidewalks and pedaling a bicycle through the streets of Amsterdam — escorted by a fluffy pink bunny rabbit?  With said fluffy pink bunny rabbit wearing a pink, faux-fur lined coat?  This was my experience earlier this morning.

Olivia loves the little stuffed bunny that Marci and I got for her 4th birthday.  She calls it Pinky — except when Pinky helps to take Olivia to school (it’s happening fairly regularly these days), and then Olivia proudly introduces the bunny to everyone as Roosje (which is actually a pretty good self-conceived translation of the name Pinky into Dutch).  Olivia was especially excited to have Pinky bring her to school today because Pinky had just gotten some new outfits and a new winter coat from Olivia’s Oma and Opa in Ohio (Thanks, Oma and Opa, for the great gifts!).  Walking through the halls of the school, Olivia would try to catch the eye of anyone and everyone who might look in her direction — children or parents, school administrators or teachers — and when she locked eyes with someone, she’d proudly hold up her little bunny rabbit and say:  "Kijk!" ("Look!").  She is so, so proud of that little bunny rabbit…

When it was time to say good-bye to Olivia, we went through the normal routine of figuring out the window from which I would wave my final farewell before heading back home — and of course, Olivia made sure to remind me:  "Don’t forget to let Pinky wave, too!"  So Pinky and I said good-bye to Olivia, walked out through the halls of the school, across the playground, and around to the window looking into Olivia’s class.  Olivia wasn’t completely paying attention to the window (which is, I think, a healthy sign that she’s enjoying school more and more); instead, she was looking off toward the front of the classroom.  One of the other kids sitting next to her noticed me at the window and tugged on Olivia’s shirt sleeve to alert her.  When Olivia saw me, she burst into a big smile and waved warmly.  But the biggest smile of all came when I held up the fluffy pink bunny rabbit, wearing a fuzzy pink coat and helped Pinky to wave good-bye to Olivia.  It was a radiant smile of pure joy, as only a four-year-old girl waving to her bunny can summon.

But it filled me with joy, too.  It warmed me and left me smiling all the way home… and I didn’t even care if I looked silly with this idiotic grin on my face and this fluffy pink bunny rabbit securely buckled into the baby seat of our bakfiets as I filtered through the morning rush hour.  I was glad for the joy of Pinky.

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