Saturday, May 14, 2011

About a bear

Peek-a-boo! The Bear and the LGBB look-alike: Me! 1975

I have a bear called Parby. Everyone who knew me under the age of ten would know this bear. He went on school camps, countless car trips, every family holiday... 

Parby was a seriously special companion to me. He was the one constant in an often confusing and painful childhood. And he went everywhere with me. I can't quite convey how much comfort he gave me.

I married Parby once. In an intriguing plot twist worthy of daytime television, he was also my baby and wore nappies.

In short, he meant everything to me. 

He was safe. And he held all my whispered secrets, being my constant companion he was reliable like that. You'd also be hard pressed to find a photo without me holding him in my first five years.

I had long since forgotten the importance of Parby. That is, until Lolly developed a deep obsession with the old bear. He had been sitting on a shelf in her room since we moved to this house. About a month ago, she discovered the bear for the first time and became overly excited that it was mine. After introductions were made, that was it.

"I could get used to this" - Parby
"Welcome to Hugsville" - Scraps
She became thoroughly convinced that he is a magical bear. Possibly because, at 36, he is "sooooo old" that how could he possibly still be in existence. Ahem. She has told no fewer than two friends who have visited that "Mummy is his owner but I look after him now. He's a bit shy..... 'sokay, Parby, 'sokay."

I am fascinated that, from a couple of simple words - "This is Parby. He was my old bear and was waiting for me when I was born" - my daughter now holds him in such high regard. Her movements with him are gentle and she always makes sure she cradles him or carries him as a mother would a small child. It's so funny to me. I know I did the same. Perhaps it's his sweet face that just compels you to be gentle with him. He is rather endearing.

They are still in the getting-to-know-you phase. But theirs is a firm friendship already, I can see. Lolly has introduced him to all her firm old favourites and, to my sheer surprise, has even overlooked the gorgeous Scraps (her own constant companion) in favour of ensuring Parby has a seat in the car. She is definitely pulling out all stops to make my old bear feel welcome. 

And in a move that may yet see me go nutty (for she keeps shoving Parby into my arms), the LGBB is also completely convinced that he moves. Never mind that I just *happen* to be holding him when he nods and giggles at whatever she's saying. God, I love the innocence and imagination of children. May she never completely fill in the blanks and always have that sense of wonder and "imagine if".

When I took my little LGBB to the bloggers' brunch a couple of weeks ago, there was a store of Baby Born dolls clothes. As she has never really been into dolls (just Scraps and Bunny and her bears), I bypassed the display the first time around. After we had met everyone, I took Lolly back to the display and suggested, "What about getting some clothes for Parby?"

NOT posed! I found them like this...
Lolly agreed. We chose an outfit. The bear looks totes spunky in it now. He is sleeping with her every night. And over the past couple of nights, my heart has been so filled to the brim seeing my old mate being loved again by a happy, safe little girl and her friends that I have had to take a sneaky photo and risk waking her with the flash to capture these precious memories for her. And for me, I can't kid myself.

What about you? Did you have a special favourite childhood bear? Do you still have it? What happened?

R-L: Asleep, asleep, asleep.... awake and can't believe his good fortune!

This is my weekend Grateful For contribution at Maxabella's place.
So I guess, in a sentence, I am grateful for the opportunity to witness a very important "person" (bear, whatevs) to me be discovered by my daughter. It thrills me no end that she gets such an uncannily similar sense of wanting to nurture and take take care of this gentle bear as I did, all those years ago. 

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