There is a special kind of magic that happens when a child loves a toy. There is magic in the imagination of children, and those who were once children. It is the type of magic that we all wink and smile at, knowing that it exists only in the minds of those involved, and only for a short period of time while kids are young enough to believe that anything can happen. We have a magical bear in our house, except he is not like that. He is straight up magical. For real.
For one thing, he is always stowing away in the trunk of our car. I can’t tell you how many times we have gone to the store, or to the beach, or to a doctor’s appointment, and Bear will start talking to us on the way, informing us that he is going to come along. We laugh and say “Oh, Bear,” but once in a while, when we arrive and check the trunk (and Ruby always makes us check the trunk) we find him sitting there, out of his bed where he is supposed to be, and ready to come along on an adventure.
On our trip to Syracuse we brought him with us of course, because Ruby cannot sleep without him in her arms, but we decided that he should not come to the beach with us. We packed up the trunk, and I had Ruby help me put our beach stuff in there herself, so she could see that there were no bears in there. Then we stopped by the store, saw the Wienermobile, and loaded some new bags into the trunk, with Ruby’s help again. No bears in sight. And yet, when we got to the beach and opened the trunk, there was Bear, sitting as happily as could be amongst the bags and towels. He is a sneaky bear.
Luckily we do not mind his naughtiness most of the time. Ruby gets very excited when he does his magic.
Now, Bear’s magic is not limited to stowing away in car trunks. He also moves around the house when no one is looking. We have found him building a nest in a bike helmet, making cookies in the kitchen, and suddenly appearing behind us when we are reading a story that he wants to hear. Of course no one has ever seen him moving. Like Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, his magic only happens away from prying human eyes. This does not diminish the excitement and acceptance of the magic, but rather intensifies it.
His latest trick, and we have no idea how he did this, was to somehow get hold of a phone while we were at the zoo and call to tell us to go look at the bears. He called several times that day, even managing to program his number into my phone so that when he called the phone would say “Bear” and display his picture. I know this because, Ruby came running up to the men’s room of Jimmy John’s sandwiches, where I was at the time, and pounded on the door yelling “Daddy! Daddy! Bear is calling! Bear is calling your phone!” Unfortunately, by the time I got out Bear had hung up and I didn’t get to talk to him, but it was pretty magical nonetheless.
I don’t know what tricks Bear will think up in the future, and I don’t know if we will ever figure out how he does his magic, but I do know that to one little girl, and to the rest of her family as well, there will always be a very special friend who is always there whenever a little magic is needed. Also, I wish Bear would stop trying to drive the car on the highway. He is not a good driver.