Somehow, both of my children have latched on to white stuffed animals as "security" objects. For some reason, at some point in my life, I determined that I didn't like that concept ... this "thing" a child HAS to have at bedtime.
Then along came Shelby. Fairly early on, she developed something of a relationship with this one stuffed animal. White Bear (that's her name ... and she's a GIRL, though sometimes I constantly find myself calling her "he" for some reason; Shelby is quick to correct me) has become like a member of the family. Because I love Shelby, and Shelby loves White Bear, we will go to some surprising lengths to protect/find/retrieve/take care of that thing.
|Like when she somehow fell out of the car and into a storm drain ...|
This little bear doesn't necessarily go everywhere with Shelby. Sometimes she's being babysat by pretend Grandma when we're away from the house. Sometimes she comes along but stays in the car. When Shelby had to have her tooth pulled, White Bear was right there with her.
And got left. What? It was a crazy day
. Aunt Andrea and Caleb took amazing care of White Bear for us, and Shelby's patience with these kinds of situations requiring a certain kind of endurance amaze me.
|Caleb "gets it" ... McQueen there is pretty important to him ...|
|"Reunited ... and it feels so good!"|
White Bear has been through a lot ... I mean, have you seen Toy Story 3? Toddlers are brutal, and she has been with Shelby from the time Shelby was a baby. White Bear used to have a music box. I actually forget what it played ... because of the necessity of repeated washing and drying, the mechanism stopped playing properly around the time Shelby was still not really old enough to pull the chord herself.
As Shelby has grown, and the strength of her arms has increased, and the presence of a little sister eventually necessitated, the useless heavy metal and plastic box had to go. So not long ago White Bear had a little "music box ectomy" and re-stuffing. Shelby was awesome about it - she even picked the color of thread for stitching her back together. At first the new stuffing made White Bear's tummy "too full" but she quickly settled in to the "new" White Bear feeling.
|I thought she'd pick pink, but she surprised me by going for bright "boo-doo"|
I no longer worry that she'll require counseling the rest of her life because she was attached to this little ball of stuffing. Perhaps it is part of what develops her sweet, nurturing personality. White Bear has certainly served as a object lesson for empathy. Sure, she may take White Bear off to college, tucked away inside her pillow like a comforting secret. I'm ok with that now. And if she doesn't ... it's probably one of those things that we'll hang on to to remind us of a more innocent time.
|She requested White Bear be included in our annual bluebonnet photos|
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