"Well that's no problem," said Monica, looking up from her rosary-making kit at the coffee table. "We have that box of extra prints they sent us back in 2005. We've only ever sent out a few of those."
"I can ask for their address," said Otto doubtfully. "But who loses a CD insert? I've never lost one in my life."
"Of course you haven't," teased Gloria's voice from outside. She was weeding the small herb garden outside the house that we use as an office. "You keep yours filed alphabetically and cross-indexed by year CD purchased. You've never misplaced anything, ever. Not everyone can be like you, even though of course we all want to."
"I think it's absolutely normal," said Allen from the couch. "Kids like something, they play with it. They love it, it gets destroyed." He emphasized the point with a vigorous chord on his guitar. "This is a sign of their love for us, that they can't find it. We're like a blankie that the kid won't let Mom wash."
"Or like the Velveteen Rabbit. Remember that story?" Monica snapped off a final bead and began tying new knots. "To become Real, he had to stay with his child through scarlet fever and finally be thrown out. Only then he could run and play with the other rabbits."
"Not thrown out, burned." This was Daniel from the kitchen, who had been watching a pot of hot water on the stove, trying to make it boil for tea. "But you're exactly right. The Velveteen Rabbit is a Christ figure. Love isn't gentle. Love uses you up. To get transformed, just like Jesus, first you are broken and given up for dead. That enables you to come back as a new creation-- Real, if you're the Velveteen Rabbit. It's the same kind of thing with Pinocchio."
"Perfect for Holy Week, dude!" came the voice through the window.
"That's a lot of theology to justify a new CD insert," grumbled Otto, as though he took this as a rebuke. "Couldn't they just be messy people?"
"Kids make you messy, bro," said Allen, setting his guitar on the cushion next to him. "Kids make you perfect the way God wants, not the way man wants -- or Woman!" he added towards the open window. A chuckling "Thank yooou!" rewarded him.
"And there's The Giving Tree too," remarked Monica, spreading out the rewards of her labor to examine. "That's a perfect parent parable. The tree is happy even when it has given everything away and become a stump. It always makes me cry."
"STOP IT," recommended Otto, obviously exasperated. "I GET it. The only people who would ever lose a CD insert are those with so much love that they allow themselves to become Christ. Fine."
"We love you too bro," said Allen, walking over to Otto, who looked uncomfortable, as if he thought he were about to be hugged. "You just call us to be all that we can be -- loving AND able to find things. We know the world would be a better place if everything were alphabetized. Let's go look for that box of inserts; I think you put it in the office above the computer."
That's exactly where they found them. And if you need new CD inserts -- one to file alphabetically, more to give to your kids to lose or mangle -- send us an email, we'd be happy to provide. Be sure to include your mailing address.