Peter Rabbit Moves On
I said goodbye to Peter Rabbit this week. Well, most of his things anyway. For 38 years I’ve enjoyed his company in the form of the Beatrix Potter books, Peter Rabbit Wedgewood lamp with matching toy dishes, stuffed Peter, Benjamin Bunny, Mrs. Rabbit, Mrs. Tiggywinkle and Flopsy (all of whom survived the Duke Disaster, a twin comforter and beautiful art prints. These things started out in my daughter’s nursery. As she grew all but the prints were put away, on pause until I set up my grandkids room when she was expecting my first grandchild.
When I was expecting I decided on a Beatrix Potter theme for the nursery. Before the internet you had to try to find the items in department stores or be fortunate to receive them as gifts. Between my mother-in-law, her mother, and my best friend I soon had a collection of Peter Rabbit and Friends items to delight the heart of any collector and many happy memories: lovely tea parties, sweet hours of story time with a child holding one of the rabbits and looking at the beautiful illustrations, time spent kneeling on the sofa underneath the prints, picking out all the characters and marveling at their colorful detail.
The most beautiful thing, the centerpiece of it all, was the set of 3 vintage yard-long prints purchased in England in 1952 and gifted to me by great grandmother. An Austin gallery found the perfect mat colors, framed them beautifully, and the piece has hung on a wall in my home for almost 4 decades.
The little girl for whom the nursey was designed had little girls of her own, now teenagers. The tea set and dishes have been packed away in the attic for some years, while the lamp sits in a closet and the rabbit family holds their position on their shelf in the grandkids room. On the little couch sitting under the prints, I’ve had daily prayer time for the past 20 years. Lovely things given to celebrate a very special time in my life. Things I have become attached to, sentiment that gives material possessions power over me and my space if I let it.
So, it’s time to share. Time for someone else to enjoy these beloved treasures. I’ve found another soon-to-be grandmother whose daughter has chosen Peter Rabbit for her nursery theme. Peter and friends are moving on. There will be other tea parties, story hours, and time spent appreciating Ms. Potter’s illustrations. I have memories, pictures, and this blog to memorialize these things. It’s all good.
But I’m keeping the comforter.