Friday, December 01, 2006

Ode to a Bear

It's over. It's really, finally over. And it has been perhaps the most bittersweet moment of my mom-life so far.

Morgan the Bear, the constant companion, best imaginary friend ever, super-hero supreme - is no longer N4's special companion.

Morgan the Bear is so named because our dear friend had a baby girl named Morgan about a year and a half ago, and N4 was so entranced with the tiny babe that his bear friend became christened Morgan, too. (This caused for much confusion when talking with said dear friend! :-)

Morgan was a baby gift from our next door neighbors when N4 was born. It was fairly innocuous at the time. A cute, soft, Ty Pluffie little bear. In N4's early years, this bear was just one of a handful of stuffed animals that would occasionally be played with - he was nothing special, not for quite some time. I don't even really remember exactly when the bear became Important. It was sometime right around the time we moved to Georgia, about 2 1/2 years ago now, so N4 was between 18 and 24 months. As N4 approached the age of 3, however, the bear suddenly needed a Name, and after some research into his origins (ie, trolling the Ty website for hours, looking for a picture that matched this bear), he became Blueberry, the official Ty name. A few months later, he became Morgan, as described above. In this magical time of N's 4th year, Morgan became the most special, the most loved, the most Important Bear Friend in our AAA universe - perhaps even in the entire history of the world, so fierce was N4's devotion. None of my other kids have had special friends of this sort, but N4 had enough love for all of them!

We began to notice that every single picture we took included Morgan. Like last year, when we decorated our tree, and I took a picture of my guys - Morgan is there - can you see him in N4's right hand?

Last year for Christmas he got some other Ty Pluffies, because he thought Morgan needed some bear friends.

Here is a picture of N4 sleeping with all his bears:

As the months went on, Morgan began to transform into something other than just a bear. He became the object of N4's imagination, the superhero to end all superheros. Morgan could do anything. Fight Dinosaurs and Godzilla monsters? Morgan won every time!

And, over the last year, every single picture we took included Morgan:

the school projects,

the field trips,

every picture we took of N4, Morgan was always there. Morgan went everywhere with us, and where N4 was, there was Morgan.

Sometimes, we even had to take special pictures of Morgan.

A few months ago, the affection for Morgan intensified. Now, not only was Morgan in every picture, but in every picture N4 was Loving Morgan.

Throughout this time, N4's imagination revolved around his friend. Morgan had a cute, squeeky little voice. He often responded to things, in positive and negative manners, more than N4 did. Morgan could transform into amazing different superheroes. There was "Ice Morgan" and "Fire Morgan" and "MechaMorgan" and, one memorable morning, there was even "CoffeeMorgan"! Morgan was such a fascinating window into N4's growing mind! Plus, there were "Morgan Movies", like "Morgan vs. Godzilla", and "Morgan Destroys the City" and "Morgan Saves the World." There were Morgan Games, Morgan TV shows, Morgan books, Morgan this, Morgan that. It was all about the Bear.

Around N4's 4th birthday, though, we began to notice a change. Morgan was still in the pictures, but not in N4's hands!

And then, suddenly, we began to get pictures of N4 without Morgan at all!

About a month ago, we started noticing that sometimes Morgan was forgotten. The night I stepped into the living room, saw Morgan on the floor, and realized N4 was sound asleep in the other room, I knew it was the beginning of the end. A couple weeks ago, we were halfway down the block on the way to church before N4 remembered - and wanted - Morgan. Last week, J1 stepped on Morgan on the way out of the pew at church - Morgan had fallen down on the kneeler, and N4 walked out without him, with nary a backward glance.

Still, I was unprepared for yesterday. I thought I had more time!

N4 said to me, "Well, Morgan's all chocolatey and pen-ny (as in written on) and (something I couldn't make out - I think he meant too soft), so I need a new Morgan." I have been so afraid that we would lose Morgan, since we are starting to forget him places, and he IS very, very well-worn, so I thought I'd seize the opporunity, and I said, "Yes, I do think it's time for a new Morgan". And N4 looks at me, and says, "Should I throw this Morgan in the trash?"


I told him that we would put him up somewhere and keep him forever. He said, ok, and then went into descriptions of how he would get a *new* Morgan. A little bit later, he was telling S3 about it, and then he looked up at me and said, "I think I'm going to put Morgan in the trash." S3's eyes got wide, filled with tears, and he stepped forward to physically block the trash can while he cried, "No!!!" (we're all pretty attached to N4 being attached to Morgan, if you know what I mean). I quickly told N4 that I would keep him. And then - he just gave him to me! And walked away, without a care. He hasn't asked for him ever since. Now he says that mom has a Morgan, and he's going to get a new Morgan. But how will the aliens in the Morgan Games know which is the right one, he wonders?

So, we'll get him a new Morgan, a new Blueberry Ty Pluffie. But - it won't be the same. I know that it will never again be the same.

And I know it's just a bear. But really, it's more than that. It's my baby growing up. It especially tugs at my heart right now, with all the uncertainty surrounding my health, my miscarriage history - we might not be able to have more babies, only God knows right now. So this might very well be the last vestige of babyhood that we have in our house, ever. And I'm not ready to give it up yet!

But N4 is. And that's what matters. That's what being a parent is all about, really. Letting your kids grow up, teaching them to grow up. Letting them be and become who God has made them to be. And I love that, I do. I love raising these boys of mine, and I love watching them grow up, changing and maturing and becoming such wonderful people.

But today? Today I cry as I write this tribute post to a silly little bear who now sits, rather forlornly, on my desk shelf.

Someday soon I'll carefully put N4 away. We'll get a new Blueberry Pluffie for Christmas. Dh thinks we should get two. One to give to N4, and one to pack away with the Real Morgan, so that when N4 has kids someday we can give it to him, and maybe our grandkids will love Bears, too.

Who knows? Maybe Morgan will live again someday!


Rebecca said...

This is a sweet post! My childhood companion was a white dog named "Morgan". I still have him in a special box (although he is no longer white :) )

Jennifer said...

As mommy to the other (human) Morgan in the story, I want to share in your poignant moment. I'm so glad we got a picture of the two Morgans together. Who knew it would be the last opportunity? I'll send it to you if you want. You did a great job of capturing the story, and I loved all of the pictures!