He sits cross-legged on the floor in my bedroom, keeping an eye on me and even tolerating the sailor's hat which sits at a jaunty angle on his head and has my name written across it. Every so often I run my knuckles over his head fondly as I walk past him, remembering when he came into my life.
When I was five, my grandparents brought this huge package to my house as a gift for me. I don't remember much from my childhood, but I do remember tearing into the package, wrapped in trashbags and taller than I was, while standing in our kitchen. There he was--my huge bear.
My grandfather's business was almost 30 years old at that time, and my grandmother had just received her first paycheck from it, despite helping build and run the business since its inception. She was near Boulder visiting her parents that weekend and she saw this bear in a little store and knew I had to have it as a souvenir of her first paycheck. So she bought the bear and her dad helped put in the passenger's seat of her car to bring it home. "I'll bet you could drive in the carpool lane with this guy in the passenger's seat," he laughed.
That bear also starred in my elementary school act of Elvis' "Won't You Be My Teddy Bear?" Showing his good humor, he also tolerated the other kids punching in his long nose--better than I did, not surprisingly.
This week, whenever I see him, I also send off another birthday wish for my grandmother. Happy 75th Mia!