November 19th is Billie Day.
And, on Billie Day, Billie’s stuffed animals come to life and throw her a party.
It’s happened every year since she was 2 years old and her mother figured out that, while Billie had trouble making friends of the human variety, she had no trouble at all being besties with her stuffed animals.
Billie’s birthdays have usually been lonely. We moved a lot and she is an only child. But she never minded because she always had her stuffed animals. Each one had a different name, lifestyle, and backstory. I have never seen a child connect with their toys the way Billie did with hers.
Thus Billie Day.
They come to life, wreck her room, give her presents, and write her notes of encouragment.
And, to Billie, this only makes sense.
Because of course they do.
They are, after all, real.
Real in the way they love her. Real in the way they provide her safety and shelter. Real in the way that they are her friends. Her true friends.
So this year the tradition continues. And I worry that it may be the last year.
Tomorrow she will have her first ever birthday party.
With other kids coming over.
Other humans with whom she (finally) shares a connection.
And I’m super stoked.
But a small part of me hopes that, despite her growth and newfound human connection, her stuffed animals will come to life next year.
If only because that kind of love is still real. To me.
Happy birthday, Billie.
Your mother loves you.