Sunday night? I was sad. In a joy filled sort of way. Well, the joy wasn't right away but reflecting back, it did finally arrive.
Bear-Bear was given to Brooke when she was 10 months old. Within a few days, Brooke and Bear-Bear were inseparable. Not a night went by for almost 7 years, that Brooke and Bear-Bear did not sleep together. We had to come home early - from a wake - no less, because the babysitter could not find Bear-Bear (who is a she, BTW) and Brooke was inconsolable and refused to go to bed without her Bear-Bear.
So last night, I was tucking my baby girl in and I didn't see Bear-Bear. So I said, "Brooke? Where's Bear-Bear?" And she said, "Oh, I don't sleep with her anymore." WHATTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT??????? I nearly choked. And I was like, "Ohhhhhhh, Brookeeeee - what do you mean? You always sleep with Bear-Bear!" And she went on to explain that the kittens had claimed Bear-Bear for their own and she was a bit icky from all the licking and sucking that had been assaulted on poor Bear-Bear for the last year.
I was DEVASTATED. Bear-Bear and Brooke were not 2 separate entities. They were connected. They were a team. They were my babies. I immediately reacted and kind of got a little weepy and inadvertantly threw a little guilt her way. (I am Italian afterall. And raised catholic!) "But Brooke, that means you're growing up. You don't needddddd Bear-Bear anymore???" I squeaked out. Ooops - open mouth, insert foot. Brooke starts crying. God I am such a JERK! I pull her into my arms and whisper to her and ask why she's crying. "I'm sad because I don't need Bear-Bear anymoreeeeeeee."
O-MY-GOD. So the next morning I confiscated Bear-Bear and threw her in the washing machine, got her nice and clean and was fully convinced that would change everything. When I went to tuck her in last night, there was Bear-Bear. But not in her usual spot tucked in the crook of my baby's arm. Nope - Bear-Bear was positioned high up on the pillow tucked into her own blanket. Sniffffffff...
So obviously a milestone has passed without my knowing it. My daughter is 8 and doesn't need her Bear-Bear. I was definitely sad. But today I spent some time meditating on the pictures in my mind's eye of Brooke and Bear-Bear. Bear-Bear in the crook of her arm, accompanying her day in and day out, making my baby feel safe. I so caught joy from that. It was bittersweet - but then again - sometimes the best things in life just are, aren't they? ♥♥♥