Susan's Blog

Friday, December 10, 2010


With Ned and with my boys I’m truly home, but it’s taken a very long time for me to understand why this particular group of beings is my home.  What makes “home,” that place where you can rest, and just be?

Nat just got home, and before long I could hear the hum of the tv, and so I went in and asked him what he had chosen.  “Cawry,” he said, referring to our very very old Weston Woods video of Corduroy.

Corduroy was the very first book Nat liked, the very first character that engaged him, way back at 18 months.  He would sit in Ned’s lap, in my lap, listen rapt, thumb in mouth, and when the story was over, he’d close the book, take it out of my hand and then put it back into my hand, saying, “um, um, um.”  I knew he was asking me to read it again.  Over and over we’d read it.

The story goes like this:  Corduroy is a bear in green corduroy overalls.  Unbeknown to him, one of his shoulder straps is missing a button.  A little girl, Lisa, wants to buy him but her tired mom needs to get home, and so she points out this imperfection, hoping to discourage Lisa.  Corduroy watches them go, sadly, and notices for the first time in his life that he has a flaw.  Mystified, but not given to too much reflection, Corduroy sets off into the department store once it is closed, in search of his button.

Of course, Corduroy is not going to find his button anywhere in the store, and we know that from the start.  Even if he were to find a button (and indeed he tries to pull one off of a mattress in the bedding department), how would he attach it to himself?  He has stuffed bear paws!  Yet look he must, because that is our nature:  to be complete.

I do wonder what it is that drew Little Baby Nat to this story, and what makes him still love it today, at 21.  Because there is quite a bit of projection, imagination, and intuition in my relationship with Nat, I found myself thinking about this today.  I allow myself this kind of exercise, not just with Nat, but with all my guys, because imagining their inner world helps me connect to them.  Maybe there’s some fiction to it, but who’s to say?

In the end, Lisa comes back to buy him, missing button and all.  The last picture shows her sitting with him on her lap and sewing on a new button.  “I like you the way you are,” Lisa says, “But you’ll be more comfortable with a button.”

I could say a lot about how perhaps Nat empathizes with Corduroy, who knows he is not like everyone else, and so must try extra hard to fix that, in order to get what he wants. I could say that Nat enjoys Corduroy’s journey of discovery, his lovable mishaps.  His finally being understood.  But I think that what Nat may love best about watching Corduroy is the feeling that he is home.


So well said! I know the story well, and I believe you are right about Nat. He knows the comfort of home, and that this is a place where there is unconditional love.

— added by Sherry Rubin on Friday, December 10, 2010 at 6:21 pm

There is no question in my mind that Nat bonds with this story because your home is one of the places where he feels safe, and loved. It’s so sweet that this story still means something to him!

— added by kim mccafferty on Monday, December 13, 2010 at 2:41 pm

Oh gosh! I remember Corduroy Bear! All three of my kids loved it, and the Little Fur Family by Margaret Wise Brown. I still have that one in my desk and the Velveteen Rabbit, which always makes me cry.
I love it that Nat still likes Corduroy. I still think about the books I had when I was little. There was one about a tree where pug puppies grew. I wish I could find that book and read it again.

— added by Sunni on Monday, December 13, 2010 at 4:01 pm

What a beautiful story! I’m inspired to pick out a few new books for Emma tomorrow night…


— added by Daleth on Wednesday, December 15, 2010 at 1:06 am

Sweet baby Nat. Aww. I love that book, it was one of MY favorites as a kid, way back when dinosaurs roamed the earth. 😉

— added by ASDmomNC on Thursday, December 16, 2010 at 1:08 pm

Hey, good post. SO true, makes sense. My little sister suffers from Autism, a high-functioning Autistic little girl, I will say that!! She does SO well in school. She got student of the month 3 times this year.. she reads at a 3rd grade level.. she is where she is “supposed” to be at Maths..

She is so smart and articulate, it makes me so happy for her. And also, it makes me happy for you, for posting such an inspiring little story for me to read. I love reading things like this..

May all things go well this year for you and your little guy.

— added by Brandon on Thursday, January 6, 2011 at 9:22 am

I love this story too. My son has been attached to certain things in much the same way. Your story touched my heart as my children do. Thank You so much for sharing this 😉

— added by Haley on Thursday, January 6, 2011 at 9:23 am

Susan: once again, I wonder…were these human beings put here to teach us more than we can imagine? When one stops and thinks about how many of our kids/young adults/etc are out there, one has to scratch their head in wonder. It wasn’t until our daughter’s difficulties became paramount [she was born in 1980] that we regrouped and started focusing. This is a pretty ‘far out there’ thought, but hasn’t this brought us ‘home’…to focus on family. Pretty drastic but maybe the only way…and when you think that 1 out of 110 … it becomes pretty substantial….the number of parents ‘coming home.’

— added by Caryl~marie on Thursday, January 6, 2011 at 9:56 am

Thank you for sharing. Such a sweet story. My daughter has her “home” items as well.

— added by Lori on Thursday, January 6, 2011 at 10:00 am

Elliots’ love of books has stanched many difficult moments. Some days its the only thing that will calm him and is such a part of our bedtime routine that he often falls asleep after the first 10 mins. He can escape in to a world where he is the hero. There is a freedom in that world, one that isnt afforded to him in this one.

— added by CrazyZooCrew on Thursday, January 6, 2011 at 10:36 am

This is a wonderful write. My son has special things that make him feel at home too.

— added by Charlene on Thursday, January 6, 2011 at 10:55 am

What a wonderful story. Thank you SO much for writing it.

— added by Pepper on Thursday, January 6, 2011 at 4:48 pm

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