While Little Guy may not remember being fast-friends with his bean-filled blue bear, Hubby and I do!
Every few months I ask Little Guy to go through a pile of books or toys, and pull out the things that he thinks he’s “too old” for, so we can “pass them on to another little guy who will love them as much as you did”. Often there are items that bring back memories for me, but I recognize that Little Guy is growing up and moving on…and I need to as well. But recently, I found 2 little blue bears in the pile of stuff “to go”, and my Mama heart broke.
The 2 little bears are nearly identical. One had been a gift; one had been purchased on Ebay as a replacement for when bear #1 fell apart. And he was just starting to fall apart. Before he was even walking, Little Guy developed the habit of biting the noses on his most beloved stuffed animals and growling. It was a habit he outgrew as quickly as he had developed it, but it meant I had to become a “mender of noses” for these beloved friends as more and more teeth appeared in that little gummy mouth. And BlueBeary, as we named him, had also fallen victim to pearly white incisors on more than one occasion.
Bluebeary watched over Little Guy the most in those first difficult 8 months. When Little Guy was born, he had a mark on his cheek that looked like a blood blister. We were told it was nothing to worry about…but within a few months, that little mark began to grow. And it started to bleed, sometimes profusely. We used bandages to try to cushion the mark, but then Little Guy’s delicate skin started to react to the adhesive in the bandages. We quickly became experts on wound care and how to sterilize equipment. We were knowledgeable about all kinds of medical dressings available. I learned to wake up before Little Guy started to stir in the night so I could check to make sure the covering was still in place and he wasn’t bleeding. I even how learned to change bandages in the dark without waking him up. There were some scary nights when we couldn’t stop the bleeding, and frightening mornings when his bed sheets were covered and he was white as a ghost for days. We worried that he would choke on the bandage, and we were so tired, we wouldn’t hear him. Every night Hubby and I placed Little Guy in God’s hands.
Like most parents, we pleaded with doctors to help us, and over the course of several months, we saw 4 doctors and 2 surgeons. When the sixth medical professional identified the problem and said he could operate in less than 2 weeks, I broke down and cried.
On the morning of the surgery, we took Little Guy and Bluebeary for a walk in the stroller. Little Guy clutched Bluebeary for the long wait in the hospital. And finally, when they came to take our 8 month old to the O.R., Bluebeary, marked with an identical hospital bracelet, went too. Bluebeary was safely nestled next to Little Guy in the Recovery Room; they both looked rumpled and small. Little Guy nuzzled Bluebeary and chewed on his nose all the way home.
I don’t know exactly when Bluebeary was replaced with a new favourite, but I had tucked him in a place of honour where he could watch Little Guy sleep. I know this little bear is just a toy, but I can’t help feeling thankful for him. He brought comfort to my little boy when he needed it most, when this Mama was not allowed to go with him to a new and scary place. I guess he brought me comfort too. Little Guy may have outgrown the attachment to Bluebeary, but I have not…
“A bear grows more alive with age. No one with one ounce of sensitivity could ever consign a bear to the dustbin.” – Johnnie Hague
This story was written for the Daily Post Weekly Writing Challenge: Object.
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