Monday, 15 December 2008

Sentimental much?

And here is where you get to see me way overthinking things.

I have this plush bear. I got him for my birthday from a friend when I was, I don't know, about 13, give or take a couple years. I wouldn't even say "friend", really - more like we had a mutual friend. And even this mutual friend was only my friend by virtue of our parents being co-workers. So to put it another way, I got this bear from my mom's co-worker's daughter's friend.

He's kind of a cute bear, one of those posed antique-looking bears with a knit sweater and a solemn face. He looked quite nice sitting on a shelf in my room, where he eventually became part of the decor. Somehow, when I moved across the country a couple years ago, this bear made his way into my over-stuffed car and came with me, even though I must have left another fifty or so plush animals in my parents' basement. And somehow, when I set up my son's nursery before he was born, this bear made his way onto the bookshelf, even though the rest of the plush animals that had migrated across the country with me ended up stuffed in a toy box.

And somehow, even though he's never shown much interest in stuffed animals, even though he's never really "taken" to any other toys (cars fervently excepted), even though he staunchly ignored the plush bought specifically for son has developed an attachment to this bear.

And it's bothering me.

I mean, this bear has no meaning! I got it from "my mom's co-worker's daughter's friend". It was only sitting out because it looks quite nice sitting on a shelf. I have all this other plush that has meaning - the bear I got when I was in the hospital for surgery when I was 12, the beautiful cuddly bear his Oma gave him, the big soft floppy frog I bought when I went through my frog stage, Seabert the seal who was the first in my very very very large plush seal collection, the soft giraffe that was given to my son when he was born, and on and on and on. Of all his options, he somehow ended up latching on to this posed bear that was supposed to simply look nice sitting on a shelf, that isn't soft or cuddly, that has no sentimental meaning to it...and it's bothering me!

My logical brain knows I'm being silly. Who cares if this bear has no sentimental "meaning" behind it - my son likes it, just leave it be!

And yet I keep thinking of my own childhood bear. This was one well loved bear. My parents bought him for me before I was even born, and he sat on the back of the couch awaiting my arrival. I slept with that bear every night until I got married (and even then it was only because my husband insisted he was not going to share a bed with a stuffed bear, especially not if I was going to cuddle with it instead of him). That bear kept me safe during my years of hating the dark. That bear's paws dried all my hormonal teenage tears. That bear stoutly kept every secret I told him over the years. That bear has a story and meaning and he didn't come from my mom's co-worker's daughter's friend!

(And yet, when my son found said childhood bear and started playing with it, it took an embarrassing amount of willpower to keep myself from snatching it out of his hands with yells of "it's mine, gimme!!" Buuut we'll just ignore that little regression to childhood, since I did bite my tongue and grit my teeth and let him continue to play with it in the end. Regardless, he didn't become attached to it anyway, so it's all quite irrelevant.)

I had planned to buy my son a bear of his own for his second birthday, a soft cuddly bear that he could drag everywhere and call his and have a sweet little story attached to it for when he asked where it came from some years down the road. And now I'm finding myself tempted to run out and buy it for him now for Christmas instead. Perhaps my mom's co-worker's daughter's friend's gift-bear could be replaced by a special, meaningful, bought-especially-with-him-in-mind bear. Then when he kissed it, I could think "aww, look at him kissing his bear," instead of thinking "that bear is just supposed to be a pretty decoration, stop kissing it!"

I know, I know - issues much? Apparently I am far too sentimental for my own good. And now that I've got it out, perhaps I'll be able to let it go and make peace with that fact that my son has become attached to a meaningless gift from my mom's co-worker's daughter's friend. Perhaps.


  1. I don't know whether to laugh or go "awww"!! lol

    My husband and I sleep with three stuffed animals, one of them quite, quite large. hahaha. He probably doesn't like that I tell people that, oh well, hehe.

  2. I'm with Lauren. laughter and "awwwww"

  3. Maybe the fact that this particular bear kept popping up even though it's not particularly special, means it was meant for him all along! The fact that the bear never meant anything and yet still somehow ended up being moved and set up in the nursery for him to later be attached to of his own volition, is a sentimental story in itself :).

  4. I think I might have the same sort of reaction seeing as I'm an overly sentimental person too. I would especially be protective of my own special bear. I would never let another child play with 'my bear' no matter how cute they were together.

  5. The best made plans of mice and men...

    You're probably irritated due exactly to the fact that he didn't choose something of "significance" to pour his adoration on. I've been there. Of all the deeply meaningful stuffed animals given to my son during his first year, the one that is the "it" bear is "My First Disney Bear" (says so on the bib it wears). I don't know why this one was it but it is. It initially bothered me because I lean away from advertising on my children. However, the bear has become deeply meaningful to me just because of how much it has come to mean to him. Take one look at it and you can see it is one well-loved bear.

  6. haha. I think it's one of those things. I can't say that I have anything that I'm particularly attached too. I have a monkey my Mom gave me that was hers, and now I will give it to my kids (when I have some). I have a ton of stuffed animals.

  7. Very funny! My son is not really attached to any buddies and my daughter rotates through all of hers (she usually has a buddy du jour that she HAS to have with her wherever she goes, including in her backpack at school).

    Love the picture of your sleeping angel with the infamous bear.

  8. Rather than focusing on where the bear came from, why not focus on what the bear means to him and to you? Once you've been on some adventures together, dealt with some tears or tough times, been through birthdays and other holidays, that bear will become special.