Friday, August 05, 2005

Passing of the Smokey

Jake, our four year old, has been reluctant to sleep in his own room for a while. He says there are monsters living in his closet, which I assure him is impossible as there is no room for monsters due to the toys and clothes packed into the closet.

His nights in our bedroom continued for quite some time and frankly was kind of a comfort especially over the last week as I was cherishing even more the time I got to spend with him. However, it became clear that Jake really has no intention of going back to sleeping in his room. We tried many things and nothing seemed to work.

That is until the other night. Jake saw a teddy bear that Jim got me quite a while ago. He special ordered it with my college alma mater and name on it. Jake wanted to sleep with it, but I was reluctant...first of all it's rather dusty from being displayed on top of our TV in the bedroom and also because I didn't want anything to happen to it. I began to look for something that would provide him some comfort and saw my old teddy bear from when I was about Jake's age...Smokey.

Smokey was the second bear (the second Smokey bear) that I had from the time I can remember. He protected me...went into surgery with me when I was 10...and was just there for me. I grabbed Smokey and told Jake about him. I told him that Smokey was filled with hugs and he loved to give hugs to children. I told Jake that Smokey kept me safe through scary nights and was always there for me. He grabbed a hold of Smokey and wouldn't let him go.

I told Jake that we would get him a night light to help the darkness of his room. And between Smokey and the nightlight, Jake spent the entire night in his room with no fighting, no crying and little fear.

Maybe each of us just needs a little Smokey. Something to hold tight to...something to give us listen to our scare away the keep us safe in the darkness until the light of day comes.