It's taken the better part of a few weeks but I am now, for the first time in my 29 years, enlightened as to the definition of the term "funny bunny". Apparently this is the lingo that a four year old uses to describe someone who has "stinky pants".
It started a couple of weeks ago the Sunday before Easter. Carter came home telling us about someone calling her "honey bunny" in Sunday School. She didn't elaborate and we didn't think much of it. It sounded kinda' sweet if you ask me.
Fast forward to this week. My mom was visiting and at some point Carter disclosed to her that the term wasn't "honey bunny" but "funny bunny" and the little girl wasn't using it quite as endearingly as I first thought. She was teasing the kids and saying someone had a "funny bunny" and their pants were stinky. Carter seemed to come away from the experience feeling somewhat made fun of...and maybe like she had stinky pants?? I'm not quite sure.
I've thought about it several times over the last couple of days. I think it's made an impression on me because it's the first time I can remember Carter being teased, or at least her recognizing that someone is teasing her. I feel a little sensitive for her right now. She misses her old friends and is doing her best to make new ones. My heart hurts a little bit everytime she suggests we hop a plane to Washington to pay a visit to her buddies. Maybe that's why the whole "funny bunny" thing made me a little sad...because it seemed to make her a little sad...and I want her to be anything but that. I want her to be happy, to thrive, to walk in confidence. In short I want to protect her from pain.
The nice thing about right now is most of the time I can do that. But, what "funny bunny" taught me is that there will be those moments, even now, that I can't. She will begin to feel things in a new way as she grows and encounters the world and all it has to offer. The best I can do is use those moments to teach her something new. I'm so glad my mom was here this week to share a little lesson in "funny bunny" forgiveness. I hope I'll do as well when it's my turn to impart a little wisdom. For now, and for as long as she'll let me, I'll squeeze her a little tighter and hope that hearing me say, "I love you all the way to the moon" takes a little bit of the sting out of the words meant to hurt.