Here’s a neat piece of wisdom to be found in The Velveteen Rabbit.
“When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but really loves you, then you become Real . . . Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real, you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”