About a year ago, when I moved from New York to Florida, I had to make some difficult choices. Like what stayed. And what went.
Like my stone washed denim jean jacket from 1984. Obviously it came with us.
And my tea collection from the 90’s despite the fact that I don’t drink tea. (I tossed the tea in this elaborate ceremony replicating the Boston Tea Party.)
And there were the girls’ gigantic art sculptures.
Unbelievably they made the cut and now reside in Florida.
In the garage.
And then there were the Build A Bears. We had a small village of them. But no one ever played with them. So with a heavy, panicked heart, I donated them all, along with their Build A Bear closets and their snazzy bear sized outfits to Goodwill.
Pretty much since that moment, I’ve been dreading the day the girls notice the bears never showed up in Florida.
I mean, I wasn’t an idiot. When their Brownie/Daisy troops did an outing to Build A Bear, we didn’t attend. And I did everything I could to prevent any kind of mention of bears in our house which is obviously difficult because bears are rampant in children’s literature.
But somehow we made it through an entire year. Until this week when we were wandering through some mall (in an effort to escape the satan like temperatures outside) and we passed the BUILD A BEAR STORE.
Dylan: “Heyyyyyyyyyy….. what ever happened to all our Build A Bears?”
Dylan: “Mom, where did our Build A Bears go? I loved all those bears. They were the best. I remember each one. I even had one that smelled like cookies. Mmmm..”
Dylan: “Mom, can you hear me?”
At this point, I was frozen by the Annie’s Pretzel counter hoping that if I stayed very still, Dylan would think I was just a mannequin display. I knew I had 3 options.
1. Go with my original plan to tell my kids the bears got so liquored up at the Laguardia airport bar that Jet Blue wouldn’t let them get on the plane to Florida and we had to leave them at the airport.
2. Come clean and tell them I donated them to charity and face the reality that for the rest of their lives my children would blame me for carelessly discarding their precious bears leading to feelings of loss and abandonment that keeps them from experiencing true connections with other people.
3. Tell them the bears must have gotten lost in the move.
I think it’s really important to be honest with kids. I mean, how else do children learn honesty if we don’t lead by example?
Which is why I told them the moving truck must have lost the bears.
Because maybe the charity decided to give the bears to kids in Miami.
And maybe the bears were loaded on a truck on route to Florida.
And maybe the driver had had enough of this trucking gig and didn’t drive to Miami at all.
And maybe instead, he hightailed it to Nevada where he now lives with a lovely girl named Rita and 15 magnificently dressed Build A Bears.
I’m just saying it’s possible.