Simply knowing that a habit acquired in "babyhood" by your child has to be broken at some point before they enter university doesn't always provide the strength against the emotions that come when they finally announce they are ready to give it up. Kevin has carried around his red bear (or sometimes a blue fraternal twin would do) since infancy. He snuggled it often and when the bear found it's way to his arms, his right forefinger would immediately go into his mouth--bear in hand, finger in mouth without conscious thought. So, earlier this week when Geoff was telling the boys goodnight, red bear was tossed out of the bed with the accompanying comment, "I don't like him anymore." At that point the parents took up the mantle of concern for "poor old bear." He looked so dejected sitting there alone after years of love and care, and confession here, "abuse". Kevin carried him so often that if we weren't paying attention, before long, red bear became "stinky bear". It was always a tough toss up . . . leave him stinky or wash him and have him lose fluff. Kevin didn't like it when we called him stinky bear, but there frequently came a point when even he realized that the stink was overwhelming and bear needed a bath. Then came the agonizing waiting time while he dried.
So, thus ends another stage in the life of our youngest. He's growing up. I think I'll tuck bear away in a safe place so he's ready to bless my grandchildren . . . or at least give me special memories when I look at him.