|Blue Bear with Daniel (both at 2 days old)|
Blue Bear belongs to Daniel, now age 6. Blue Bear’s arrival into the world was slightly traumatic as Daniel’s birth was triggered by a sickness bug which swept through the whole family. Biggest brother Josh (then only 21 months old) had been poorly for several weeks, yet upon hearing the news that his baby brother had been born, went off to the shops with Granny and chose a very special friend for baby Daniel.
|Blue Bear, baby Daniel and big brother Josh (21 months).|
The really touching thing was that Granny had intended on buying Joshua a present too for becoming a big brother, but when asked what he wanted Josh said ‘nothing’ and only wanted to buy his new baby brother a gift. The very next day, Josh became so unwell that he was rushed into hospital as he had become severely dehydrated and come down with a chest infection on top of the sickness bug.
Little did we realise what a comfort Blue Bear would be to both baby Daniel but also to mum, who on her first day home with the new baby, found that her other precious little boy would be spending the night away from home in hospital.
Baby Daniel soon discovered that Blue Bear was a loyal trusted family member and as he got to know his ‘flesh & blood’ family, he also became extremely close to his ‘fabric and stuffing’ family in the form of that very special Blue Bear.
So much so, that a “Spare Bear” had to be tracked down and purchased in case any eventuality should happen to Blue Bear. Yet, even at only a few months old and before he could even say a word, whenever Blue Bear had to take a trip to the washing machine and Spare Bear replace him for the evening, Daniel KNEW the difference. With his eyes closed, he would feel the bears face and look puzzled that the fur felt different. As Daniel grew older we could see the dismay in his face each time he was presented with this clean, soft-furred creature which day by day was bearing less and less resemblance to his true friend Blue Bear.
|Blue Bear (left) and Spare Bear. Would you believe these two were identical twins at birth?|
Nowadays, Spare Bear is no longer a hushed secret but is used as a last resort if Blue Bear is misplaced. However, Spare Bear often ends up thrown down the stairs and a full scale search and rescue mission needs to be launched with the very serious “CODE BLUE” alert being issued to all the family to start searching before bedtime!
Despite being the grand old age of 6 and a half (which is very old in cuddly bear years), Blue Bear has had surprisingly little cosmetic surgery. He needed a minor nose job last year when his previous nose started to unravel. His eyes have lost their bright youthful shine but that is to be expected at the grand old age of 6 and a half (remembering, of course, that is very old in cuddly bear years!). When I asked Blue Bear how he felt about any future surgery, he told me that he keeps an open mind about such matters as he wants to stick around in full health for as long as possible.
Speaking of surgery, Blue Bear’s other best friend, Blue Bunny, had to undergo some lifesaving surgery a few years ago. In order to be washed after another bout of sickness, Daniel had to make the difficult decision to allow an inexperienced surgeon (aka mummy) to attempt to remove Blue Bunny’s music box. Blue Bunny did live to tell the tale but has been left with scarring. And the music box actually lives on having a kind of out of body experience of its own.
|Blue Bunny and his music box, post-operative.|
Now, where were we. Oh yes, fighting monsters under the bed. Blue Bear actually does a job far more important than fighting monsters under the bed. He helps Daniel fight the monsters in his head. You see, although Daniel doesn’t like the dark and he doesn’t like things that go bump in the night, his biggest fear is having bad dreams. Daniel told me ”I have nightmares about monsters, but when I wake up, Blue Bear is there and I squeeze him tight.”
So although Wizard of Oz author, L.Frank Baum most probably meant something entirely different with his quote, for Daniel these words also hold a very special meaning; “Whenever I feel Blue, I start breathing again”.
|"Whenever I feel Blue, I start breathing again."|