This is Blue.
Blue, in all of his glory.
Blue turns 41 this year.
Blue is my husband’s childhood bear. Around six months ago, my oldest daughter adopted Blue as her own.
Blue came to her after many years in storage. When they met, he only had one eye. A tattered nose. Lumpy fluff. A once soft exterior turned thin and scratchy after years of love.
Despite having so many other stuffies to choose from, Ella fell in love with Blue almost instantly. Since then, the two have gone on many adventures together. From lunch buffets at her play table, to bath time, to wagon rides, and swing sessions. He often accompanies her on rides to the grandparents’ houses. He is an every-night bedtime companion.
My daughter sees only beauty in her Blue. She sees past his scars and imperfections. He is the peanut butter to her jelly, the stars in her sky.
With two toddlers under 2.5, our house is chaos. Loud and cluttered. But also full of love, and a lot of fun. Some days, we as parents feel like we’re on top of our game. Other days, we feel we’re drowning. Maybe you can relate on some days, or a lot of days. In parenthood, we don’t receive formal feedback of a job well done. We simply try our best to keep everyone alive and the ship afloat.
Today, while in the other room on a work meeting, I heard Ella’s little voice while playing. “You are so beautiful, Blue,” she said lovingly.
I stepped out to see what she and Blue were up to. Ella was clipping sparkly flower clips into his worn ears, ever so gently.
Blue, living his best life.
Being one who needs a lot of verbal validation, I give the same to my husband and kids. I tell them as often as I can how much I love them, and how beautiful, strong, smart, and caring they are. I don’t always feel it sinks in, but I keep doing it regardless.
Today, it hit home that my words are sinking in. Our kids are watching us care for them, day in and day out. Listening to the love we give. I firmly believe they have a filter and a massive amount of forgiveness, even while so young, for when we can’t hold it together 100%.
Today, I realized that this old Blue and I have a lot in common. Maybe my kids see past my many imperfections, my scars, my many mistakes, and love me for all that I am.
I think of how my daughter interacts with her Blue. She gives him a “bath.” Gets him into cozy jammies. Cuddles him up in her favorite blanket. Sings him a song goodnight as she tucks him into bed.
Blue, getting some movie and cuddle time in.
She watches everything. She cares for her bear as I care for her. Somehow, perhaps magically or maybe because Blue doesn’t seem to get into much mischief, Blue does not get scolded.
So on the days you feel you are failing or what you’re working so tirelessly to teach, pause and take note. Listen. Maybe the feedback will come in the care of a stuffed animal, or the comforting of a hurt sibling. At the end of the day, the greatest lesson is love. We are doing okay, Mamas.