Lovey

Kids have treasured objects. Caroline will take anything she deems precious and place it into the upper cupboard of her kitchen. These items range anywhere from baby bottles for dolls to plastic silverware to princess crowns or a particular color crayon she doesn't want to share. She never really had a comfort item, she had her thumb always at the ready to comfort her. Still she cannot take a nap at school or fall asleep at night without the Curious George her nana and granda gave her at her side. I like this, but I like it even more because circumstances prevent us from seeing nana and granda as often as we would like to. I hope it makes them feel good too, their gift is always by her side, his little fingers brown and faded from love and adventures.

Connor took to a pacifier as we endured those evil and cruelly long months of reflux. It was often the only thing that would get him to calm down. He spends less and less time with it lately, especially at home. Car rides and nap time, maybe a meltdown if he is having a particularly hard moment. That bink is not as readily available as his sister's thumb was and for those tough toddler moments like day care drop off, he looks to his little blanket animal friend.

Until recently that transitional object was "car bear." Caroline had held him on the many car rides from CT to Boston. She never took to him in a transitional object kind of way, but he had been hers and she had snuggled with him many times. Connor literally could not sleep at school last week when car bear went missing. I wanted an all points bulletin! He was missing and he had to be found! Except, he hasn't been. The last time I saw him was when I went running down the driveway after Steve waving a freshly cleaned car bear. The last Steve saw he was holding it to his cheek at drop off. He is gone. Vanished.

We have another one at home, "giraffe." He also has the silky unrside, the super soft blanket, but he isn't "car bear." So I set out to find a replacement, something he could keep at home so we could send giraffe to school knowing he might also go to the land of vanishing day care toys. I worried that whatever I found would not be a suitable second object for Con. I worried that I was replacing something irreplaceable. I brought home "monkey." Cute, cuddly, monkey head holding blanket, silky on the bottom, soft on top monkey.

When you give a baby a lovey you celebrate them grasping it, holding it, rubbing the soft satin between their fingers. "look, she's holding it!" When you give a boy a lovey, he smiles widely, places that silk to his cheek, calls it by name and instantly loves it more than anything other thing, even hockey. He shows his thanks by offering it to you, placing it to your cheek, dragging it behind him everywhere he goes in the house.

This kid is constantly surprising me. He is both rough and tumble & sweet and sensitive. He drops to his knees in anguish, he says no and scrunches his face into a puss. He lays his head on my shoulder and gives hugs like a real boy, squeezing you back.

I'm sad still that an object held by both my children, showing its love through wear and extreme softness from washing and cuddles, is gone. I'm proud not that it was replaceable, but that my son is adaptable and he somehow knows that mommy understands he needs that little blanket when we can't be right there with him. A boy and his monkey friend, racing around holding a hockey stick, taking shots on a tiny goal with wiffle balls. My sweet, affectionate, energetic, surpringly strong, left handed son.

To his future wife, you are so damn lucky. Someday I'll show you all of this and you won't be surprised because you will already now you have landed an amazing guy who loves sports, eats like a horse, plays hard, but can help you pick shoes (obsessed!).

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