This is what I envision Esten's future to be sometimes. Which of course, I know, is ridiculous. BlueBear is a boy. I do think he'll be lucky one day to find a special gal who knows BlueBear, knows BlueBear isn't going anywhere, and is okay that BlueBear will probably sleep between them.
|Esten's definition of LOVE. I see his point a little.|
We didn't realize how important BlueBear was...he never even really had a "name" per se....just BlueBear. Uncreatively obvious. Like it wasn't any more special than anything else. True, Esten loved him and cuddled him, but Esten was an enormously loving baby who didn't discriminate. He would snuggle and hug ANYONE. We used to make a routine of passing out hugs before leaving a place. "Go give hugs so we can go!" It became standard for him and carried over to daycare and other places. He was never stingy when it came to spreading out his love. Prime kidnapper bait. Plus, he wasn't a little ay-hole. He'd have been a well-behaved hostage.
A while after Clayton came along we began sorting through old pictures and noticed something peculiar...BlueBear appeared at random in so many pictures - even hanging out on the arm of the couch in my hospital room when Clayton was born. He was always just THERE. We laughed and BlueBear continued his reign as the #1 loved stuffed animal in Esten's heart.
Clayton has never had an overwhelming attachment to an animal, or a blanket, or any other security object. But as he's gotten older he's observed and admired Esten's loyal friend, the one he seeks out before bed usually but not exclusively. The one that Esten has proclaimed as the only "person" who's been his bestest buddy longer than Alex, his bestie from day 1 of Kindergarten. And Clayton began to ask if I would get HIM a BlueBear too. The boys both collectively even selected a bigger version of PinkBear to send my dear friend as a hospital get-well gift...without regard to her Grandma-ish age or whether she'd enjoy a nice houseplant instead. Blue/PinkBear love is universal...it knows no limits. They INSISTED.
I did have to explain to Clayton that despite his request for his own, they don't make BlueBear anymore (he was from the 2002-2003 beanie baby era and is retired now) but that maybe I could find one that someone already loved, like Esten's. We put the discussion on the back burner until I ordered not one, but two BlueBears for Christmas. One for Clayton and one for Harrison. A surprise for him. He LOVED it. Not nearly to the degree that Esten's got invested with his, but still. I hope that Harrison grows to love his BlueBear (whose real name is Tinker) as much as Clayton loves his (he named Chippy) and Esten loves, well, BlueBear.
And so this morning the house was all-apanic because Esten couldn't FIND BlueBear. Show and tell was today, and he's been preparing all week to take BlueBear and HoneyDog since the teacher designated this week's category: "Do you have a stuffed animal?" HoneyDog was in his backpack, but BB was nowhere to be found. He was devastated when I made him leave empty handed. I even offered an alternative, to take one of his brothers' bears in its place. He just hung his head. "No Mom, Alex won't even RECOGNIZE those other bears. He KNOWS BlueBear."
This was a no brainer. BlueBear is MUCH flatter and worn, and more of a blue-dirt color hue than the others despite my constant washing/bleaching him. He'd rather go without than sully his name by trying to pass off an impostor.
Eventually after they left I found BlueBear and dropped him off at the school. I knew even though it would add a few minutes to my trip to the office, it was worth it for the improvement it would make to his attitude, to his day. He would have dwelled and fussed and worried all day. Today WAS trash day after all....what IF BlueBear accidentally got thrown out?? Why ELSE couldn't we find him???? Panic. Panic. Fuss. Repeat.
Now I can't wait to see him when I get home, ask him how today went...and get a big squeeze from him for saving the day. There is nothing better than a love between an 8 year old and his bear except the love you get for reuniting them.