Did any of you have (or maybe still have) a childhood stuffed animal that meant the world to you? I did. He was an elephant that my aunt made for me. When I got him, I couldn’t say “elephant” so his name became Ellie. Ellie went everywhere with me, the entire time I lived at home, up until college. He saw me through childhood, my parent’s divorce, my sister leaving for college, boy issues and my first real love and subsequent break up. In fact, I contemplated taking Ellie to college with me, but then decided he should stay home. For the record, he is now in my daughter’s closet, watching over her.
My daughter, E, has a similar stuffed animal. Hers is a stuffed dalmation, named “Puppy”. (She did inherit my dog-naming skills). Puppy is her security blanket.
Let’s set the scene of this past Saturday. Tim was out of town for work, and E woke up with a cough she had had since Wednesday. That morning, however, it was accompanied with a fever. Luckily, one of my best girlfriends had stayed over the night before (we may or may not have had a lot of drinks together), so she quickly offered to stay with A while I took E to urgent care, Puppy in hand.
After a few hours, we were given a few prescriptions and the clear to go home. E, Puppy and I loaded back in to the car and went to Target to have them filled. After waiting for another half an hour, we finally went home. At this point I am exhausted, feeling gross from being in urgent care all that time, and feeling bad that my friend had to stay with A for so many hours.
But, E says to me with tears in her eyes, “Mommy? Where’s Puppy?” He was not inside the house. He was not in the car, under the seats, next to her carseat. He had not fallen in the driveway. A call to Target Pharmacy told us he wasn’t there. He was gone. The way that she looked at me seriously broke my heart. How was I going to explain to her that he was gone? That she should have held on to him, or not taken him with her? She was trying to be so grown up and not completely lose it, but I could see it on her face. She was devastated. So I did what any mom would do… I drove back to Target.
Like a crazed woman, I looked under the car that had taken my spot. I went to customer service and left my phone number. I went to the pharmacy, retraced our steps through the ice cream and candy aisles (What? We were hungry. She did inherit my sweet tooth!). I asked people if they had seen a stuffed dog. (For the record, only one woman even seemed concerned. She must have been in my situation before!) I had given up – Puppy was gone.
Until… he wasn’t.
I saw him after I had given up and was on my way out. He was just sitting there, placed by someone who knew a child’s heart would be broken for losing him. Someone that saved my day, and E’s too.
We now have a strict “Puppy stays in the house” rule, because I cannot bear to see that face of such sadness again!
Today is Wednesday Wishes with Anne. I’m wishing that the person who found and saved Puppy knows just how much of a lifesaver he/she is. I wish I knew who it was so I could properly thank them!