It all started nine and a half years ago...Rachel got a present from my mom's cousin, Mary. It was a super-soft, white bear. Immediately, she became attached to that bear and carried it with her everywhere. She simply named him, "Bear." She slept with him for a couple years straight before he was accidentally forgotten. After many tears and a substitute unicorn, she made it through that night, but he was not forgotten again for many years.
Over the past year or so, sleepovers have been arranged on the spur of the moment, and I've been able to talk Rachel out of the obligatory drive over to bring Bear. But, he still had a warm spot in her bed every night here.
Last week, as we were hanging a new shelf in her room, Rachel decided that she was willing to put Bear up there for good. I could tell it was a decision she felt she needed to do because she was growing up but that it was hard to do. So, he now has a prime location on her shelf overlooking her room. I'm happy that she decided to put him up before he was too destroyed. He's no longer white or soft. He's been sewn a few times to fix broken seams. But, he's been such a part of Rachel's childhood that I wanted to keep him as a memento.
It was very much a bittersweet moment for me. I'm happy to be done having to remember that Bear on every trip or search the house high and low to find him to get her to sleep. But, it's a clear sign that she's growing up. My baby girl is no longer a baby and that definitely brings tears to my eyes.