Growing up, everyone had that one item that was our comfort. That doll or blanket that we cared for like they were actual people; but in reality it took care of us. They gave us security and were our friends. If you say that you didn’t you’re lying. My mother had a doll Julie, and my sister had a rubber doll she named Chips-N-Dip.
I am man enough to admit that I had one and it was a teddy bear I named Bobo. He lived in my bed and slept with me every night for a good part of early elementary school. That was my boy. He was cool as shit and we kicked it heavy every night. He took a lot of licks on my behalf. I remember throwing up on him once or twice and because he was my boy through thick and thin, my grandmother knitted him a blue and yellow vest with fringes and all. I still have him around somewhere. Like Bobo, Julie is upstairs in my mother’s art studio and Chips-N-Dip is in Cydney’s crib because my sister gave her to Cydney and actually had a moment giving her away last summer.
Twenty something years later, Cydney has her own bear. Her name is Blue Bear. She’s a blue teddy bear with long arms. Cydney got Blue Bear from a friend of mine about a month ago. While visiting their place, she asked my friend for another bear that they were not willing to part with, so Blue Bear was a compromise. As soon as she recieved that doll, she was too excited. Cydney immediately took to the bear by her arms, wrapped them around her neck from behind and proceeded to play cowgirl while walking around Manhattan with it.
Since then, they’ve become really good friends. When going on long trips in the car, Blue Bear must come along. When it’s time to go to bed, Cydney asks for her repeatedly until I find her at her second home: the floor by the bed. If she doesn’t have this bear when its bed time, Cydney flips out. In the dark, she yells over and over “WHERE’S BLUE BEAR?!?!?!?!” I respond, “She’s right here, Cydney.” As soon as I hand her over, all is right in the world again.
For a good two weeks Blue Bear didn’t have a name. At first, she would just refer to her as “My blue bear” I would ask her “What’s the bear’s name?” Cydney wouldn’t answer. Eventually, she named the bear Blue Bear. I was okay with the name since it was a blue bear. It was appropriate. As of last week, Blue Bear is a girl with a formal name: Princess Blue Bear; but she only answers to Blue Bear.
Watching Cydney drag, change diapers, tuck into bed, and constantly show affection that she is reluctant to give others is a sign that she is slowly growing up. Cydney is evolving from the little baby who is enamored with whatever stimulus is right in front of her face to having a vivid imagination in which inanimate objects are real to her and are in fact her friends. As a little girl, I think it is part of her makeup to take care of and nurture her like a mother does to a child. Soon, there will be Barbies, imaginary friends, real relationships with her peers, and then she’ll be that wonderful age where she’ll be all about boys and I’ll be reminiscing about how life was so simple when Princess Blue Bear was her world. I hope I can aid in keeping Blue Bear around so that she can be kept in a corner somewhere after all of their childhood adventures that she can look at as a reminder of her childhood the same way Julie, Chips-N-Dip, and Bobo still are around.