Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Special Bedtime Friends

Believe it or not, this is me as a baby. Don't you love those 70's colors! I am just turning one. My very first birthday. And my Grandma gave me a present that stayed with me until I got married. That furry pink monstrosity is Bow Wow. He was my Velveteen rabbit. He now sleeps in a box up in my Mom's attic, but he used to sleep with me every single night in my bed. He warded off nightmares (or at least put up a valiant effort). He made me feel loved, even through those tough teenage years where all the world forgets to love you. He is the only thing I know of that survived all my growing up - my only "baby" artifact. He is special. Girls love there "special" things. And so do my girls!
We emptied out Sara's crib for this little exercise. Let me remind you, she doesn't sleep in a normal spacey crib. We have her in a port-a-crib. So the space is limited and she takes most of it up herself. But she finds enough room somehow for all of the rest of this stuff. She usually has even more books in there. How can she sleep. Many of these things have to be in her crib. As we carry her to bed she will point to this or that toy or treasure that absolutely must spend the night with her. All four blankets must be ceremoniously draped over her at bedtime. Blue, the baby she is holding, is a MUST. And Sophie, the oldest of her babies who never seems to have clothes on - this picture is no exception, is almost always there too. These are Sara's special things. She is too little to have refined them down to her very favorites. For now she has to have it all and somehow gets a good night's sleep.
Katie has a few go-to cats. Meow, the black and white cat, was the first. She got it for her 2nd Christmas from her Aunt Meghan. She loved him immediately. I am still surprised his tail is still attached and he hasn't needed any TLC. Brownish, Meow's brother with the stripes, came a few years ago. She was so excited to see him in the store because he, "WAS MEOW'S BROTHER!" And that was a big deal. This year for Christmas she got baby Brownish in her stocking. Santa is so clever! Sugar is the grey cat on her lap. She is the most important. The vital friend in the bedtime routine. Kate absolutely can not go to sleep without her. She too was a Christmas present from Santa. Teresa is a doll I made for her last year. It has made me so happy that Kate loves her so much. Usually all of these treasured toys are in her bed at all times. Poor thing swears that she will have nightmares without Sugar!
Emily has never been one to sleep with a bunch of comfort friends. It has always just been Coco, her beloved brown bunny that is definitely worse for wear. She got him from her Grandma DeWitt for her very first Easter. Coco has been through a few restorative surgeries. And no amount of washing can make him look any snappier. He is permanently nappy. Coco still travels with her. She write stories about him too. She has adopted the two dolls this last year. Lisa, the one with blond hair is the doll I made for her. She made the other doll, Mary with her achievement day class through the church. Many years ago Emily was jealous of Chase's baby blanket which a friend of Grandma Wilcox had made for him. She wanted her own "special" blanket. So I made her one. Actually three special people were involved. I put together the blanket. Then it was mailed to her best friend Eliza's mom who embroidered her name on it. Then it was mailed off to Grandma DeWitt who sewed on the binding. I thinks it makes it extra special since so many loving hands were part of its creation. Now a days in addition to Coco and the blanket which are still in bed with her, there is always a book. She wanted to have me photograph the Peter and the Starcatchers series because it is her favorite. When I go up to tuck her in one last time before going to bed myself she frequently has a book over her face. She fell asleep reading and there it stayed (so uncomfortable).

These are my girls treasures. I can't wait to watch them grow older and see which treasured friends continue to be a part of their lives. Will Blue, Sugar and Coco stand the test of time. Will they finally be packed away when they head off to college? Will they make it all the way until marriage when my sweet girls find someone better to comfort them at night? Will they remember them fondly when they are 33?

6 comments:

The Seaquist Family said...

What a great post Jen. A great reminder to document the little things in life. That is what we want to remember when we are older. Thanks for keeping me motivated!

Anonymous said...

Just love your new lighting background.

Love
Mom-

The Roberts' Report said...

What about Chase? I'm curious about him. No animals? No blankets? No books?

Jennifer said...

Chase is too big now. His "stuff" is all hidden away under his bed. I asked him if he wanted to be part of the photo shoot and he said no. Too bad...

RCurtis said...

Your girls are too cute. I was just going through some things today and found a book my mom gave me after my children were born. It is a book I absolutely loved when I was little. I'm so grateful she saved it for me. I read it to my kids. I hope to read it to future grandchildren. Love those treasures from our youth!

Andrea said...

So sweet! What fun pictures! Emily looks so grown up!