I know that my “Project for Kindness Blog” occasionally takes a different spin…I have been writing things other than just kindness stories, and I often go off on tangents, but I hope that others are finding them enjoyable anyway, and that what I write makes them happy or helps bring back happy memories for them. Today, while trying to come up with an idea, I remembered this quote from, “The Velveteen Rabbit”.
It always makes me think of Bear Sinclair. He has lived with us since Drew was about two weeks old. I remember exactly how he came into our lives. It was my first time out after Drew was born. Drew was born four weeks early and we had moved into our house only days before he arrived. We were not prepared at all for him and since he was quite little, I had gone out for an hour or so to exchange a few clothing items for him to get some in his size. It was only days after Christmas and I remember going up to the register at Lord and Taylor’s and having a balance due to me of $2.50. They would not issue me the refund and told me I’d have to have a check mailed to me. I rarely get frustrated with sales people but remember at that moment just wanting to go home. I was exhausted and did not want to go through the whole process. Sitting on the counter was a teddy bear. It had been their “Holiday Bear”. There was one left, it was a clearance item and cost exactly, $2.50. Perfect. I took it home and did not think much more about it. We put it in his bassinet and ever since, he has been Drew’s best friend.
Dave and I never gave him a name – as Drew got older, he just called him Bear, which went along perfectly with our last name. Bear used to go everywhere with us. Yesterday, I wrote about photos and memories. https://aprojectforkindness.wordpress.com/2013/07/09/capturing-memories/ . We have so many photos of Bear, that I could create albums of just him! I know he is a stuffed animal but he has a personality!! Bear used to be plump and fluffy, he was soft and snugly. No matter how silly that may sound, he really does! He has an expression on his face that always seems like he is curious and interested in what is going on. He honestly looks like he is always pondering what is going on. After many, many runs through the washer and dryer, he is now, missing “fur” on his ears, neck and tush. He has lost a lot of stuffing and is floppy and droopy but through it all, Bear’s personality still shines through.
Bear is smaller than a typical, “Build A Bear” bear, but when Drew was little, he loved going into that store to buy clothing for him. Bear has sports jerseys that match Drew’s. He has sweaters, shoes, Halloween costumes and even a tuxedo! We used to have a dresser drawer that was just for his clothing. Bear was always by Drew’s side, whether they were watching television, playing video games, reading a story, eating dinner….it did not matter. Drew had a doll stroller when he was about three. Drew pushed that stroller with Bear strapped inside, everywhere we went. It was a place for Bear to stay when Drew was on the playground, talking a walk or at the mall.
Bear hasn’t worn clothing in years and now that Drew is older, Bear doesn’t even come downstairs very often. He is usually curled up inside of Drew’s sheets on his bed just waiting for Drew to join him at bedtime. Sometimes, I will go into his room while Drew is asleep, and find Bear, snuggled in the crook of Drew’s arm.
Bear was, (and often still is), included in conversations. No one ever speaks for him. What he has to say, is always just understood. We even celebrated his birthday for a few years, all of us eating a special birthday treat while Bear sat by with his content look on his sweet face just watching us enjoy. At the time, it never seemed that odd and it meant so much to Drew that we just did it. Now though, thinking back on it, I am laughing out loud!
To this day, Bear always greets us with that sweet, heartwarming expression. His fuzzy, happy expression just seems to always make things seem better no matter what is going on. Hugging Bear makes everything seem like it will be okay. Drew has had many toys and stuffed animals come and go but Bear has reigned best friend over all of them. There were times that Drew slept with so many stuffies, that his bed barely fit him, but the one closest to his side, was of course, Bear.
Today, as I stare hard into Bear’s worn out, scratched up eyes, I still see something alive and perhaps there is really something there…. so I will end with the words of Margery Williams, “real isn’t how you are made, it is a thing that happens to you.”