The last few days, Fletcher has taken to sleeping with my old bear Paddington. Paddington is ragged and falling apart: one of his feet has already been patched and the other is in desperate need of repair; his clothes have fallen off in shreds. But the slope of his forehead still fits my face, and despite all the years he still smells like MY bear.
I love that Fletcher is falling in love with my bear, though part of me is a little nervous about it. I still remember my father giving me that bear on my birthday when I was probably 6 or 8, can remember him walking into my bedroom in the morning and waking me up with the gift, knowing instantly how special Paddington was, especially because he came from my Daddy. (I know how memories get . . . distorted . . . over the years so this may not be an accurate remembrance but it is real to me none-the-less so please do not correct it if I am wrong!) I slept with Paddington every night for years and years. He went everywhere with me. He went to college with me. Moved into my first apartment with me. He has always been there. He is mine. But maybe not anymore . . .
Perhaps I have been unduly influenced by Edward Tulane, but I think Paddington must be smiling at the new attention he is getting, his little stuffed heart filling up again. Fletcher may change his mind tomorrow and move on to another toy but for today he is in love with my old bear. And I am in love with both of them. And that feels wonderful.