The bear risk

For most of her life, Boo had a bear.

A pink bear, originally a shower gift from my aunt… it quickly turned into her favorite animal, and soon went everywhere with her. Even back and forth to daycare.

After about a year of this, we asked my aunt where she had gotten the bear, hoping to get a second one to rotate for cleaning sake, and it had come from toys r us… but they no longer sold them when we checked. My mom found a somewhat similar bear, and bought it to keep at her house, but “subby bear” was promptly rejected.

But unfortunately, a few years ago during a vacation in texas, the bear was lost.

Before we left Houston, I remember telling Boo to make sure he got put with the bags. And that’s the last time I remember seeing him for sure.

We noticed he was missing when we got ready for bed that night in Dallas. She said that instead of putting him with the bags, she put him back to sleep in the bed.

I called the hotel that night, and they said he hadn’t been found when the room was cleaned. I called again the next morning to talk with housekeeping to see if he’d been picked up with the blankets, and still no luck.

With no sign of the bear, we had to head for home.

Thinking back, I remember when we checked into the dallas hotel, that Boo had asked me if she could take something in with her as we went in the lobby… and I remember saying ok, as long as she was careful to keep track of it. I still can’t remember whether it was one of her travel toys, the DVD player, or the bear… but playing through my memory, I keep wondering if it was actually the bear. But then, we had issues with the front desk saying we didn’t have the right reservation, which I ended up having to go back to the car and find the printed confirmation to prove, and then got told it would be longer to be allowed in the room, so I was distracted dealing with that, and not with watching whatever she had brought inside. In any case, it wasn’t in the lobby when we checked out that morning, if it was left there.

After we got home, I printed off postcards with the bear’s picture and description, my contact info, and an offer of a reward, and mailed them to each of the hotels that we stayed at on the trip… as well as to every place listed on my debit card as somewhere we stopped on the trip… and never got any response.

I tried online to find a copy of the bear, but with no luck. I even tried posting pics to a website dedicated to finding replacements for kids loveys, but still no luck.

I remember that the tag said “russ” on it, so I tried hunting down a site listing russ bears to even have more info on it, but I can;t even find that.

At some point, I created some ebay searches… hoping it would someday turn up there. I narrowed them down and refined them…. one for the russ stuffed animal category that hit for pink and bear but only without mention of rattle, one for the bear category that hit for russ and pink and bear but not rattle, etc.

And then, using rss, I subscribed to the results of each of these searches… tossing them all into a folder… so that I can click on it and just quickly scroll past and see all of the bears that aren;t the bear that I’m looking for.

That was summer of 2008.

It’s been 4 years now.

The tears and random wailing moments of missing the bear have passed. It’s probably been at least a year since she’s even mentioned it.

But the other day… on the way to the carnival to stuff animals, she mentioned that she hoped they had one like her bear.

Out of the blue.

What she doesn’t know…. is that last week, I bought a bear from ebay.

No, it’s not the same bear. But it’s sort of close.

The size is the same…. just over a foot tall… which hasn’t been common in the listings. Most russ bears seem to be much smaller.

The stuffing material is the same… mostly normal stuffing, but the bottoms of the feet and hands and lower part of the belly are made with beans like a beanie baby.

And the coloring is at least pink…. though her other one was solid light pink, and this one is tie dyed sort of shades of pink.

But… as much as I’d had hope for it when I saw it in the pics… my first response when it arrived is that it’s off.

The face isn’t right. Her bear had a more pronounced snout and a large black nose, this one has a smaller pink nose.

The ears are too big, and a bit too low. The arms are a bit too long, maybe an inch or so. There isn’t a tail.

And the outside material just isn’t the same. Close, but not quite.

It’s obviously made by the same company, probably a year or two off…. enough to make me even more sure that i remember the company right.

But I’m really not sure how well it’s going to go over if I give her this obviously not quite right bear.

Will she be accepting that its another bear like her old one? Or am I going to just open up a new wound, more wailing and sorrow, and a rejection like “subby bear” got back when she was like 2?

It has been hanging out in the closet. I can’t decide whether or not to take the risk.

Maybe at christmas? But then, that seems dangerous to have her in a foul mood from revisiting lost bear thoughts when its already a sort of rough time most years.

I’d generally write it off… just figure it was another bear that wasn’t right…. but for that comment on the drive.

Do I really want to try it? Am I ready if this goes poorly?

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