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There’s Enabling and Then There’s This: Thousands Join 3-Year-Old to Find Her Lost ‘Mr Rabbit’

Mr Rabbit

Mr Rabbit lost, lesson found

If you have young kids and they haven’t yet read the Knuffle Bunny trilogy, run — don’t walk — to the nearest library or book store.

Knuffle Bunny is the lovie of a little girl who lives in Brooklyn. Over the course of three fantabulous books, he gets lost, confused and then lost again. Ultimately the little girl realizes she’s grown past him and hands him off to someone younger who really needs him. The books are awesomely illustrated and, even better, a tremendous lesson in resilience.

A little girl in England could use a bit of the latter right now.

According to ABC News, 3-year-old Ruby lost her beloved stuffed bunny, Mr Rabbit. Her mom, Zoe Stewart, tried to look for him in a very 2013- kind of way: online. She’s taken to Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for help, and thousands have joined in on the search. He’s making international news. His hashtag (#findmrrabbit) is picking up steam on Twitter. People in London, where Mr Rabbit went missing, are reading about him in local newspapers.

While her mom is hard at work with a search team of thousands, Ruby is devastated — “in tears” and “sobb[ing] herself to sleep.”

You’d have to have ice in your veins to not want Ruby to be reunited with Mr Rabbit. One look at Ruby’s face and you just hope with all your might that the bunny is found. But my goodness — at some point hopefully the loss of Mr. Rabbit could become a tremendous lesson in moving on.

Last year my husband was taking our younger daughter, who was 1 at the time, for a walk in the stroller. He didn’t know that the puppy-in-a-purse doll that she snatched on the way out the front door belonged to our older daughter, who was then 4. He also didn’t know, apparently, that our little one tends to toss things out of the stroller on a whim. That’s evidenced by the the sippy cups, snack cups, hats and mittens that have all become residents of the streets thanks to her killer arm.

When he returned home, he asked me if it was a big deal that they were puppy-in-a-purse-less. I said yes. On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being Badabada, this puppy-in-a-purse was around an 8. Our older daughter didn’t see it that way, however. The puppy has since gone on to mythic proportions in her mind. Never, apparently, has there been a puppy-in-a-purse as important, adorable and loved as this one. A year has passed and she still mourns its loss. I tried to go out and search for it a few times after it happened, but we live in Colorado and the snow was already out in full force. That puppy is out to pasture.

I felt bad for her. But I also used it as a lesson in keeping her chin up. Things get lost. We must soldier. I’m not heartless; really, I’m not. If her Badabada went missing, I’d be devastated, too. In fact, I go out of my way to safeguard her most beloved doll because I’d also be sad if the thing she’s had since a month after she was born was gone before my daughter consciously chooses to give her away or store her in a box or closet. When life hands you lemons, though, or a Mr Rabbit goes lost, make some lemonade, say a few nice things about him and then go out and buy a new lovey.

I’m a bit to practical to allow my kids to keep hope alive when it’s pretty clear it’s all but lost. By all means, come back, Mr Rabbit. But if you don’t, please grant Ruby peace from wherever you are — and soon — and let her know it’s OK to love again.

Photo credit: Zoe Stewart/Twitter

More from Meredith on Babble:

Follow Meredith on Twitter and check out her regular column on the op-ed page of The Denver Post at MeredithCarroll.com

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