Heavenly Bear

Bear often comes up with something profound seemingly out of the blue. Of course it’s not out of the blue to him. His cogs are constantly whirring and trying to make sense of this world, of which he finds himself at the centre.

We were eating turkey and stilton tart (frozen Christmas offering – yum!) when he started off with, ‘Will Frankie Bear come to heaven with us?’

I am never prepared for these questions. My answer to ‘how do you know there’s a baby in your tummy?’ still haunts me and that was about three years ago. If I’d known it was going to be so important, I might have considered my response, rather than spend the next  however many years having to answer further questions and speculation regarding the act of ‘weeing on a stick.’

So what to say? I can hardly tell my six year-old that he probably won’t care by then. Frankie will very likely be in a box in the attic or at the back of a cupboard if he’s a lucky bear. He might even come out occasionally, but he probably won’t be the constant companion he is now. Bear is six. He doesn’t need to know all of this. I opted for, ‘Would it be heaven without Frankie?’

Bear solemnly shook his head. ‘He’s part of love and love lasts forever, so he’ll come.’

Hopefully that set his mind at rest. Call me a bad mum if you like, but the ever after is something he’s going to have to work out for himself. I don’t have all the answers. And even if I do, they’re my answers. He needs to have his own. Even if it takes him a lifetime to work them out. Even if it means that Frankie Bear is going to heaven after all.

Frankie the Bear

Grandad decided to give Bear some money to spend. Given a free rein, Bear would probably take it to the Lego shop. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. It’s just that something a bit more special was in order. I’m not sure Bear can remember Dad at his best, even though it was under a year ago! Children live in the present. Sometimes it’s a good thing, but I want to protect his memories of Grandad. He enjoys Lego, but I needed to think of something that he could treasure.

About a year ago, a Build-a-Bear shop opened in a nearby shopping centre. Bear has been very interested ever since. He loves looking at the little outfits and shoes and hats, but most of all he dreams of having his very own bear to bring home and love.

Build-a-Bear. That’s the thing to do. He chose him! He stuffed him! He dressed him! And right now he’s snuggled up with him. I’ve never seen such a happy pair of bears!