Watching someone you love get older and change is hard. The obvious question comes to mind, how will you go on without them in your life? The time has come for our family to face a harsh reality: Fuzzy the Bear isn’t looking so good and probably doesn’t have much time left.
Fuzzy is the closest companion of our youngest child, Peter. Fuzzy has been a trusted and highly valued member of our family since Peter was nine months old and received him as a Christmas present from my husband’s nephew.
At first, Fuzzy was indeed Fuzzy. Fluffy even. He had a big plaid bow around his neck, and our little guy and him were inseparable. The bear was almost as big as Peter was. I loved the peaceful look on my child’s face as he would lay in his crib and cuddle and play with his friend.
I totally credit Fuzzy for allowing Peter to sleep through the night and deal with the stress of our family. Things can get pretty crazy here. We have gone through the constant ups and downs of having a child with special needs. The ongoing roller coaster of scary tests, scary behaviors, and scary diagnoses being considered and dismissed for our beautiful middle child, Lizzy, has been very difficult for my husband and me. I can only imagine how confusing it must be for both our sons to witness.
Peter was also speech-delayed and having Fuzzy to cuddle and hold made the difficult times a bit easier. Speech, occupational, and physical therapy sessions were a little more manageable if Fuzzy was there. I have to admit there have been plenty of times through the years where I have wished for my own Fuzzy.
Fuzzy has come with us on vacations, daily outings and even two hospital visits. Fuzzy proudly wore scrubs twice when Peter had to have some minor surgery at 11 months and again at 3. He has been returned late at night when left behind at grandma’s or lost in the car.
He was even with Peter when he started preschool at two until the school expelled the bear a few months later.
I’m told It was a pretty heated debate among the staff as to who was going to take Fuzzy from Peter the day it was decided that he would have to go it alone so he could learn how to play and communicate with the other toddlers in his speech-delayed class.
Fortunately for us the wonderful head teacher Miss Lara was willing to put up with the two weeks of Peter barely talking to her. The assistant teachers would laugh when Peter would come in all smiles and then just glare at his “once” beloved teacher.
Fuzzy has been washed more times that I can count. It’s not unusual for Peter to wait in the laundry room till his friend’s “bath” is over. It’s not unusual for me to secretly pray that the pillow case I use to wash Fuzzy in will once again protect his aging body from the rigors of the washing machine.
Fuzzy’s once fluffy yarn fur is now matted and looks more like a petri dish than a stuffed animal. The plaid bow that once adorned the bear’s neck is nothing more than a memory. But, I suspect that adds to his appeal.
The other day Peter came to my room, crying and saying Fuzzy was broken. I was a little nervous. How would my little guy cope without his dear friend? How could I manage with less sleep than I already get?
Now six, Peter is certainly better prepared to go it alone. Words that were hard to say are coming more easily. Our family is learning how to deal with the uncertainty of Lizzy’s special needs. I know Peter could go it alone if need be. He has other animals that would help comfort him as he goes to sleep. But, there is still only one Fuzzy.
I gently took Fuzzy in my hands and gave him a quick Dr. Mommy examination. I noticed that the only thing really broken about Fuzzy, besides the obvious wear and tear from six years of affection, was that his ear was very frayed from where my son fingers him as he lies down to hear a story and fall asleep at night.
“Peter, Fuzzy is not broken, he is just very loved.”
“Fuzzy is loved?”
“Yes honey, that’s all.”
He went to tell his brother his new found knowledge. “Tom, Fuzzy’s not broken, he is just loved”.
Of course the time is coming when Fuzzy will no longer be there, or even needed. But for now we will both cherish the time we have left. And I’m glad a stuffed animal is all it takes to make the great big world a little more manageable for one little boy.
OK, I am totally tearing up! This is such a sweet post, and I can really relate. Our youngest has Bear, who is literally hanging by a thread and I don’t know how much more time he has left but it will be horrible to let him go. I don’t think I can do it! Thanks for sharing this. It was so sweet.
A touching and beautifully written post. I really enjoy reading your insightful writings into family life. My two youngest still hang on to their “piggy baby” and “ringtail”. Both have matted fur and unexplained stains. I know we’ll have to say goodbye one day, but not yet. Not yet.
Samantha from vB
About A Mom says
What a sweet story! I still have a bear on my own bed that I got when I was 5 years old. Our furry friends can be very difficult to part with. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and leaving your nice note!
Small Kucing says
It’s heart breaking to read this.
I had a cat once. He seems to know my mood and stuffs like that.
It was really sad to see him in his old days getting thinner by the day and then finally one day he just couldnt move anymore.
what a wonderful story! i had a stuffed dog that i carried around until i was at least 11.
How sweet! My little one got a Pooh Bear after she was born and is attached to him. I am not looking forward to the day but she has other babies too. Although they all sleep with her in the crib she is stuck on Pooh.
Aww, I know how that is. My son, (now age 9) has had a Mickey mouse that has always been his comforting friend. We’ve gone through about 4 of them, because they’ve gotten lost, or worn beyond the point of washing anymore. He still sleeps with his current Mickey, but doesn’t bother with him during the day anymore. Just a few weeks ago we had to make an emergency run over to Grandma’s house to take Nathan his Mickey because he couldn’t sleep without him, so Mickey is still very special and needed. When Fuzzy finally does “bite the dust” Carefully preserve him. We took Nathan’s last Mickey to Disney world with us…..he was so worn out, dirty and floppy, but we had the “real Mickey Mouse” sign his foot and not he is proudly displayed on a shelf in my sons room!
sandbox gems says
How sweet! We have “doggie” that my son has had since 2 and he has to sleep with doggie every night. Still. At 10. Someday he will go into retirement but no sign of that yet. And I will keep doggie for him as a memento of when he was little. Hang onto to Fuzzy.
I had a “Fuzzy” when I was growing up too, only his name was Bow Wow. I still have him tucked away on a shelf. Many of his seams have been hand stitched with love after they popped loose from their original stitching, and he has buttons for eyes, but he’s still loved:-) Don’t worry, love will get Fuzzy through!
Grumpy Grateful Mom says
Beautiful post. I think a stuffed animal can make all of the difference.
I had a bear growing up, Kirby. I was a little lacking on friends as a child. Kirby made up the difference and went everywhere with us.
Kirby is not looking so good these days either, but he still lives with us. My kids adore him more than their new stuffed animals. And I still don’t have it in me to throw him out!
OMG, I can’t believe the assistant teachers laughed when your son needed Fuzzy 🙁 Sometimes kids need a little bit of security before being more comfortable in an unfamiliar environment. I hope he’s got more used to the new setting and is able to play and communicate with the other toddlers. As far as Fuzzy, I think you should keep him as a keepsake. It was a ‘friend’.
Thanks for sharing this great post,
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Barbra, just to clear something up, the assistant teachers laughed because he would snub the head teacher who took Fuzzy, nobody wanted to take it from him because we all knew what it meant to him, but everyone felt it was interfering with his socializing. Sorry if I made them seem mean, they were anything but!!! Thanks so much for reading and sharing!!
I want to thank everyone for the great comments!! I’m really surprised and thrilled to hear so many still have their own “Fuzzies”!!! I will have to come up with a way to preserve our dear friend, not just for Peter, but for me too!!! Thanks again for the great support!! Much love to you all!!
Nan @ Playful Decor says
Hi Kathy, cute post! I keep wondering about the impact of saying good-bye to my guys’ animals. Some have already gone and they adjust – a coping mechanism (“he wasn’t really my favorite”) – but I miss them too! 😉
My son had a blankie that came home with him from the NICU. He had it for 6 years, and the washing machine eventually shredded it. It was so sad 🙁
Tired Mom says
My son has a “fuzzy.” It’s a blanket he’s had since birth. Nearly 4 years later, it’s rough, torn, has holes, and has been bitten and pulled all around the edges. Eventually, I’ll have to take it away, but I’m dreading it! Good luck with your Fuzzy; hope it lasts a lot longer!
Spilled Milkshake says
All of my kids had a “fuzzy”. I actually took all of their fuzzies away before they were completed destroyed and put them in their keepsake’s box. 3 were blankets and 2 stuffed animals. They each gave them up at different ages, my daughter hanging onto hers the longest. I think she was probably 7 before “Rainbow” was laid to rest.
Beautiful story, as always!
What a sweet post. I teared up. My kids really don’t have a fuzzy. They get attached to something for about a month and then move onto something else. However, if that item they love goes missing, watch out.
Not Your Ordinary Agent says
Wow, Fuzzy is one lucky teddy bear. He’s shared the love of an entire family. I think your wonderful reaction to Peter’s torn bear is the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard. You really amaze me! You are good!!! http://homesandbabies.blogspot.com From VB
This reminds me of my bear I had when I was little (many, many, many years ago). She was pink & white. I wonder whatever happened to my bear?
Saying Fuzzy was loved instead of broken was very clever.
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Hi Kathy – I really enjoyed this post – thanks again for sharing:)
Just visiting from vB,
PS. Just noticed you had a guest spot at Martyrhood, so off to read that now too – thanks!
Oh my goodness! I’m in tears right now as I’m envisioning the day that my sweet Emily is going to have to part with her fuzzy .. mind you, we’re not as creative as you with the name! Hers is just called ‘bear’! But we tell her exactly the same thing, as bear is now not quite as fluffy as he used to be. We tell her that bear is loved! But yes … one day bear is going to completely fall apart! I can’t even imagine having Emily without bear!! But I guess they will grow and deal.
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I kept my teddy bear until I was 25 years old and slept with him every night. now I sleep with a stuffed dog and am 38! It is just comfy!
WE need to see a pic of Fuzzy! Very beautiful post.
What a sweet post. We have blankies instead of animals in our home, and I’m not sure how we’ll ever let them go. Whenever I think of getting rid of a lovie, I think about that scene in Mr. Mom with Kenny’s woobie…
Gina from vB
True Identity says
This is a very sweet post, it makes me think of my Druper, he is a small stuffed dog that was once yellow and now is green. I got him when I was 2 and slept with him everyday until my husband told me it bothered him at night. LOL True story. I stopped sleeping with Drupper one week into my marriage at the age of 23. Drupper has been stitched and glued his eyes are all scratched from when my dog decided to chew him up. He is also missing an eyebrow. But I still have him, and he’s there in my daughter’s bedroom along with other stuffed animals, merely being looked at, not played with anymore. But I’m glad he’s still here with me. after 34 years with me.
Another thing that reminds me is of my daughter’s Nana, her little blanket that she has used since she was a baby. But the Nana she uses now is not the same Nana she had before. The original Nana was given to me by my causin, it was a hand me down from her best friends child to her child and now to mine. The original Nana was at least 5 years old when I got it and it lasted about 2 more years. Elsie used it to rub it against her cheek to fall asleep, and still does. After too many washes Nana started to get too thin and broke into several little pieces. Those pieces traveled with us and we kept them in different places so in the case of one of them getting lost, we still had something to give her. But one day Nana finally was gone, and in a desperate attempt to re-create Nana I went online and bought a yard of fabric that looked almost the same as Nana, but there was something missing, Nana had some crochet in the borders of it and I didn’t know how to do it, so I bought some lacy crocheting and sew it on the corners of the new fabric I had bought online and after a few days Elsie started accepting it. And I told her that this Nana was even more special than the first because Mama had made it herself. And to this day the New and improved Nana sleeps in my daughters arms and makes her happy. 🙂
May Fuzzy live for a very long time to come!
Susie B. Homemaker says
Every child needs a “Fuzzy”- my girls all have a favorite stuffed animal that they like to sleep with the most. I did already set aside my oldest daughter’s animals from when she was a baby (she’s 6 now). They’re still in her room up where she can see them but she has other ones she sleeps with now. 🙂
This is a beautiful post, and I love the way you describe him as ‘much loved’! It doesn’t get much better than that. And I would be sure to take lots of pictures of Fuzzy, so when he does move on to greener pastures, you can always remember him.
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Hi Kathy! Absolutely sweet post. I just love your kids, they are off the charts adorable. My Beth has a tiny stuffed monkey with a sweet little dress she has to have at bedtime or she has a slow melt down, even at eleven, I love that fact. Thanks again for making me smile. Love ya, Jodi
We’ve got Puppy. My son got him from his aunt, she bought it in the hospital gift shop. For the last year he’s been bringing it EVERYWHERE with us. It’s been on our weekend trips away, every store possible and now with potty training, he’s visited a whole lot of public bathrooms too. It’s a sad looking thing and only gets washed when I can distract him long enough for the wash and dry cycles (he goes in a pillow case to try and make him last longer). I feel you, fellow Mom. Puppy is very loved, but hoping he gets to watch from a shelf soon…..
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I just love hearing all the stories about everyones “Fuzzy”! I did had “Bootsie” which was a Santa Christmas decoration I took as my own. But when my asthma got bad my parents had to send Santa to the big workshop in the sky!!! I have been damaged ever since!!!! Lol!! Much love to you all!!
About A Mom says
Today I am stopping by from VB! I always enjoy visiting and reading your blog! I would love for you to stop by and link up your blog for my first Wild Wednesday Hop! http://aboutamom.com
So sorry to hear about Fuzzy. We are going through a similar situation with our little Benny. He has tumors throughout his body, and there is nothing to be done. He acts healthy, but doesn’t have long to live. I hope your family gets through this okay.
Visiting from vB
Katherines Corner says
Oh so sweet and sad too. Our youngest grandson has a blanket that is his constant.. Big Hugs!
Shanan, The Book Addict says
I was really touched by the story of Fuzzy. I hope everything works out for your kids–and I hope you can keep the scraps of Fuzzy when he is too far gone. Show them to your son when he is older.
Shanan (new follower)
i remember the christmas that lars and i got fuzzy!! It was peters’ first christmas! I remember thinking to myself “kids have so many teddies… i hope he likes this one, too.” Following that thought i remember the frantic scramble to find an identical fuzzy to ease in Fuzzy #1 bath time! Every time that you would tell us of the newest adventures of Peter and Fuzzy i would feel so warm in my heart!
I know it will be a difficult time when it comes time for fuzzy to retire… but it makes us feel so happy to know how much Peter loves him.
We both love you guys so very much!! I am so happy i got to read this! Can’t wait to show Lars!!!
Great post! We have both ‘Rosie The Bear’ and ‘Teddy’ who have been on countless adventures…thanks for writing, and for stopping by my blog, too! I’m a new follower!
There’s a small dog in our family, called “Boppy,” that has helped raise three kids and five grandchildren; my father gave it to my mother before they were married 55 years ago. He’s been restored twice. The first time he was reupholstered and the second time restuffed. I was in charge of the restuffing and before I finished I replaced his black button eyes that had long been lost. At my parents’ 50th anniversary party Boppy made an appearance wearing a huge golden bow, under which was hidden a fat gold bracelet.
Do what you can to maintain Fuzzy. He sounds like a treasure.
Christa @ momvesting.com says
I love your comment that Fuzzy wasn’t broken just well-loved! I was so involved in the story at that point that I thought Fuzzy was a goner — good to hear he’ll still be around for a little more comfort and love!
Rachel Joy says
This just brought back so many memories for me. I miss all my old teddies and stuffed animals…
Beck Gambill says
Oh Fuzzy, what a good bear to have loved a boy! Being loved to pieces is the price you pay for being such a great friend! My three year old, Maggie, has a favorite blanket bunny and little plush doll. “Bunny” and “Dolly” have recently both been named Francis! They are very important, but I’m afraid I’m beginning to see the affects of love on them as well.
I’m so glad he hasn’t passed on yet! My youngest son has a stuffed puppy that is very loved! It’s hard getting rid of things they are so attached to.
You mentioned having a child with special needs. I’m a newer reader. I hope everything is going as good as possible. My sister just had a baby with Trisomy 18 5 weeks ago. We’ve had a lot of ups and downs this summer. I’ve been trying to help with her older 2 son’s when I can.
Faith Confessions says
Braedens fuzzy is a white blankie that he attached to at no kidding a few weeks old. It is a blanket that I just picked up because it was soft and the only one I did at full price. And I love that he chose that one out of all the pretty, expensive and customized ones. It is crochet so I allowed him to sleep with it since he claimed it his. No matter who argued and judged me for letting him have a blankie I just ignored and knew my son needed and wanted it. Since then I got one more just for those moments until he is old enough to understand a “bath”. The blankies have now been lined with satin that probably costs more than the little blankies. I love the look on his face when he sees it, or the face plow he does into it when he is tired. I often find myself holding it to my face and breathing in the first year of his little life. I am sure there will be many late night searches for it and moments of fear it has been forgotten or lost but I wouldn’t change a thing. That blanket has become part of our family and I believe has probably brought me as much joy and comfort as it has him.
What a sweet post! My oldest doesn’t seem to take to stuffed animals like my youngest, but he loves his trucks. 😉 His thing is a blankie. Life is manageable with that blankie. He will search high and low if it’s misplaced, and it comforts him to sleep. 🙂 I think my youngest is taken by Scout(the taking stuffed dog). If I sing one of the dogs songs, he will always calm down. It’s cute and funny really.
It’s so cute how a child attaches to something. 🙂
Oh my goodness, that made me all teary-eyed. What a sweet sweet story! I was quite attached to my own stuffed animals, probably because of a lot of the rocky uncertainty in those first few years. I can definitely relate to Peter and Fuzzy. 🙂
Carla Karam says
Kathy… what a beautiful moment in you and your son’s life. What a touching moment, you even got me all teary-eyed remembering my own moments with my boys and anticipating moments to come with Calley. Blessings to you, my friend.
Kenya G. Johnson says
Awww I love this post. Now you’ve got my creative juice flowing about another one. They are all named Teddy. Brown Teddy, White Teddy, Orange Teddy and so on 😉 I entertained buying a new bear for Valentines day and I changed my mind. I was standing there thinking, “It’s not like this will replace brown Teddy”. Then my next thought was, “What if he did want to throw brown Teddy away because he had a new bear.” I quickly put the new bear back. Whose attached? 😉
Kenny Bodanis says
Great post. My son had a stuffed giraffe – “Good Dream Giraffe” (because is gave him good dreams) – which he left in a rental property we vacationed in. That was tough…He now sleeps with “Good Dream Ginger Bread Man.”
I think every kid has one of those animals. Great post. You summed up what every child’s animal means.
Love this Kathy! So funny that you guys have a Fuzzy Bear. We have a Fluffy Bear in the same tattered condition. Faith got him for Christmas when she was 7 months old and she has grasped tightly to Fluffy Bear every night since then. He’s been puked on more than once, swung around by his little bear arms, and even dressed up like a princess a time or two. Like you, I dread washing him because he’s been through so much, I’m not sure he can take another washing without falling apart. She’s 6 now and still sleeps with Fluffy Bear. I secretly hope she does so for her entire childhood. But that’s me just being a mommy who doesn’t want her little girl to grow up. 🙂