I just learned that today is “National Teddy Bear Day”! Had I known earlier, I may have done more to celebrate Emma’s beloved “Bear”. Well, let me start at the beginning of his story…
My sister, Amy, who is 10 years older than me, worked at a store called Brian Alden in the Branhaven Plaza (Branford, CT). I believe she was 16 when she started, which made me only 6. My Mom and I used to visit her at the store on occasion. The store carried a variety of wood toys, stuffed animals and wood furniture and household items. It was a pretty great store! Anyway….2 years later, my sister was getting ready to leave for college….I don’t remember the exact year….but it was mid 80’s. I had come in to visit and fell in love with this bear. Fast forward to our annual family vacation at Higgins Beach in Scarborough, Maine. It was bedtime for me and I made my way to my bed, which was situated on the floor in my Mom and Dad’s room b/c we were sharing a cottage with limited space. As I approached my bed I noticed the bear I had admired again and again, relaxing on my pillow! I really don’t recall the rest of the details, but my sister bought that bear for me because she was leaving for college that Fall and felt her little sister needed a bear to comfort her during the lonely times. She was so right!
That bear sat on my bed for years to come, as a symbol of comfort. He travelled with me to Atlanta, GA in February 2001 when I moved out of my house to live with Todd. I kept him in my closet for 8 years before he was called to life again!
Emma was a year old. I had this bear in my closet that I thought she would like. That is a total understatement!!!!!!!!!!!!! I introduced her to bear and thus began a relationship that is still going strong today! She loved “Bear” from the moment she met him. She brought him everywhere and loved to pick at his fur for comfort and to help her fall asleep at night. When she started daycare at Bright Horizons, she brought bear and everyone got to know him!
Today, on this special day of Teddy Bear recognition…I would like to thank bear. He has truly been a source of unconditional love. Not only that, but he has carried his love through the ages….across families as a reminder of our love and bonds. As many times as I need to sew or patch bear up, I will. He is a special part of our family that defines tradition and love!