You may have seen this lovable, well-known bear pop up on many a post for my memoir, but do you know why he is so significant? Especially THIS particular bear?
Here’s a little backstory for you:
It all started one warm summer day when Casey and I showed up to a picnic put on by the Alumnae Chapter of my college sorority. My dear friend from college, Delsa, and my newer friends, Sharlynn, Pam, and Andrea, were all there in the park, some with significant others. As we settled in on our picnic blanket, Delsa and her fiancé, Jay, sat down with us, and presented us with this beautiful Classic Pooh bear. Inscribed on the tag hanging from his ear was “To Baby Wilson, Love, Delsa & Jay.”
We had just announced our first pregnancy a few weeks before, and were overwhelmed with love and excitement from all our family and friends. At this point I don’t even think I had thought about the theme for the baby’s room, nor was I even really into Winnie the Pooh-themed anything. I’d never read the stories as a child, nor seen any Disney renditions of the roly poly bear who lived in the Hundred Acre Wood, but the bear in and of itself had significance to me - and to Delsa.
Our sorority’s mascot is the Teddy Bear. The journal in the picture was given to me by my Big Sister in our chapter, upon my initiation into the sorority. So bears (and tea parties) were a big part of what we did as friends, sorority sisters, and chapter alums.
Little did I know, but this bear would spark a fascination with all things Pooh in me as I began to dream and plan for our baby’s future arrival. Pooh bear did end up being the nursery theme, and a smaller Pooh would end up keeping Paxton company in the wee hours of the night and whenever we couldn’t be with him in the hospital.
Winnie the Pooh never stopped being a central character in our lives. This particular bear was passed down to our next-born and is kept in his keepsake box to be handed down to his first-born. My son and daughter grew up listening to me read from the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh at bedtime (even in the womb, through tears and sniffles, as I continued reconciling my grief), watching the Disney renditions of the stories, and riding the Winnie the Pooh ride at Disneyland. This “silly old bear” and his friends will always hold a special place in our hearts, and helps keep the memory of a tiny little boy who needed a smallish friend alive.