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Monday, February 4, 2013

An oldie but goodie

What color is love?

This story was partially inspired by an article I read about what to do with the stuffed bears outgrown from childhood. I don't recall ever having a bear or anything else I was really attached to as a child. That could help explain why I grew up having a life challenge of learning to accept love. I must confess I really didn't know much about the subject as I reached adulthood. After 40 years of marriage to two different men I was still suffering from a lack of knowledge. It has only been because of recent experiences that I believe I finally get it.

Although I had little personal experience with childhood bears, I was allowed to eavesdrop on my grandson's experience with a special bear in his life. I purchased a perky little fellow at a yard sale my daughter's friend was having. The bear in question was brand new and my grandson was between two and three. I loved both the bear and the kid at first sight.
My daughter was not pleased with my purchase, even though Colin obviously loved his floppy new friend. The first thing out of her mouth was, "IT'S PINK! It's pink and blue I corrected. The bear as you can plainly see has equal amounts of both colors. From that day on my daughter refused to allow him to take the bear out in public. What would people think?

From that day on the bear, which I always allowed to travel with Colin in my car, was referred to as "car bear". It stayed with me when its owner wasn't around. It kept him company on nights he slept over at my house, was fed cereal at make believe picnics in my living room, enjoyed rides in a little plastic wagon, was sometimes transformed into a bean bag and always gave as much love as it received.

When Colin was about nine he was visiting for the day and decided to retrieve his old stuffed animals, still stored in the little plastic wagon. I watched with amusement as he picked them up one by one and either discarded or kept them. The treasured car bear was of course, put in the keep pile. Two years have gone by and its fate still has not been decided.

Days after the sorting event I was thinking about this special pink and blue bear that had given and received so much love from an equally special little boy. I realized that parents need to mind their own business and let children choose for themselves. I also realized that love can be any color we want it to be.

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