To that I counter with this observation: A great many women sleep each night with a bear in her bed...only it's shaped like a cranky, monosyllabic man. And, tell me, does that seem better to you? More usual perhaps, but certainly not better.
But, I digress...
Michael does not mind that Peeb is there. He didn't even comment about it when we first started sleeping together. I'm not certain we even had much talk about it. And, that was probably one of those invisible threads that began to bind us together as a couple. Another reason why he is My Beloved...he understands these things.
What I do know is this...Peeb has traveled everywhere with me. I may forsake an extra pair of shoes when I go on a trip to make space for him in my luggage. Shoes I can do without, but I find it hard to sleep without him there. I'll explain in a bit.
Peeb is better traveled than Paddington Bear. Really. He's an international jet-setter. He's gone to England, Russia, Bermuda, Los Cabos, Arizona, Seattle, Ocean City, (being a very uncomplicated sort, he likes it there very much and has returned several times,) Duck, Topsail Island, Naples (not Italy sadly,) Philly, Chicago, Kiawah Island, Negril, San Antonio, and shortly he will be on a cruise through the Caribbean Islands.
Peeb, is a product of a huge marketing campaign in 1979. That was the year that Pot Bellied Bears hit the toy market. They were a hit; like Cabbage Patch Dolls, these came with an adoption certificate. You named your bear and it had a birth date...all that clever little stuff that's supposed to anneal a toy to your side.
Doog and I were married in 1979. In October. And, it was his goal to make our first Christmas together, echo the kinds of Christmas extravaganzas he was used to from him mother and father. Doog's mother used to make it look as though Macy's had blown up in their house on Christmas morning; I mean gifts EVERYWHERE. And, I'm not talking little things, either, we're talking major gifts.
At my home, Christmas morning was about one, maybe two in a good year, big gifts. Always a book or two of my choosing. And, some underwear, (Yippee,) and a stocking. The bulk of the stocking since Nanny, the world's meanest woman was from the Old Country, had an orange in the toe, and lots of nuts, (Yippee Again,) and some candy... a few things from Reed's Drug Store. For a kid, this was not the stuff to rush to your friend's house to show off.
But, Doog? Oh my, what a fan fare his Christmas mornings were. And, our first one together, he wanted to give that experience to his Bride. At the time, I was beginning to collect bears. Why a 24 year old woman wanted to start a stuffed animal collection, is beyond me now. One day, I'll show you the outcome of that notion, but for now just go with it...
In Stewart's Department Store there was a huge display of these Pot Bellied Bears simply begging to go home. He and I had great fun examining all their faces and seeing how each was different although they were mass manufactured. What I didn't know is that when we were out on these trips, he was secretly making notes of those things that really trapped my fancy.
On Christmas morning, for the first time in my life, there was a ton of gifts for me. Most turning out to be treasures I really thought wonderful. The last box I opened was Peeb stuffed down in tissue waiting to be liberated. I adored him and spent the day picking him up for a squeeze. I placed him on the bed, not in the bed, (please note the distinction here,) and there he sat as part of our-made-every morning-by-Doog bed. I love a man who will make a bed, don't you?! Just the best.
Fast forward a few years, and I'm having breast surgery. The doc suggested that I bring a small comfortable pillow from home. A pillow that I could tuck under my breasts when laying on my side which would be required throughout the healing process to keep tension off the massive amount of stitches. Something to keep my sore girls tucked quietly. Doog and I looked around and the only thing that seemed to fit the bill was Peeb. So that was the first trip he took with me. That's what started it all.
I don't remember much about the post op hours, but I do remember being rolled back to my room to see Peeb waiting, tucked in under the sheet. Someone on the nursing staff with a kind heart must have known that would bring a smile to start the healing. It worked. So did the bear. He's endured countless nights since tucked in under me so I can sleep. Which explains his squished appearance.
Now, it's a habit...not a requirement. But without him, I'm facing a night of tossing and turning.
When Doog was here a few weeks ago for a visit, he was delighted to see his old pal, Peeb. We were talking about the notion that sometimes we're caught off-guard in terms of how much time we've traveled in this life of ours. I still can't get my head around the notion that I'm past 50. Don't get me wrong- I'm delighted to still be here and expecting many more years of craziness, but I'm just surprised at how much has slipped past me.
Nothing brings that fact into focus more clearly than when you look around at stuff and realize how long you've had some of it. Like, when I consider that I've been sleeping with that bear for 30 years! Good God, how is that possible??? I was already an adult when that toy came into my life and I've been sleeping with it for decades?! Wow.
So, here's what I'd like to do....based on some of the heartfelt comments I got from my post the other day about Leo, both on and off the blog, I'd like to do a future post that contains pictures of all of our dear old friends.
If you have a treasure from your childhood, even if it is only a lunchbox, (Ms. Cam,) send me a picture. Give me a blurb about why this item is so very valuable in your eyes and I'll post them all for us to share in the love of old friends. Even you, Toni, I know how your bear is about autographs and photos, but maybe you could get him to acquiesce this one time. And, if you'd like to include your children or spouses in this mayhem, feel free!
Use the email address that I have posted on my profile. I'll give us all two weeks so as many as possible can participate. Come on, even if you weren't the sentimental sort, no matter how old you are, you know you have something from your younger days that you still treasure. Something that you won't part with...
Leo, Peeb, and I hope you'll participate in the fun. They're a little chagrined about being outed in public so they'll feel better when they see others that resemble them in the "loved too hard" department!
Namaste' Till Next Time,