Last Monday was Bear’s birthday. Most of Ruby’s toys have birthdays that either fall on her birthday, or on Chirstmas, and the rest of them have birthdays that we cannot remember because they came home to live with us at assorted unremarkable times. This is not the case with Bear. I’m not sure if it is related to his magic, or if it is just a coincidence, but this most special of toys was given to Ruby at her baptism, clearly written in her baby book as August 19, 2007.
Ruby knows this date very well, as it has been marked on her calendar for months. We have been planning Bear’s birthday for quite some time. During one of our visits to the Vermont Teddy Bear factory, instead of looking around at all of the things that she might like to get for herself, Ruby instead walked around the store saying “I bet Bear would just love this one!” and “Don’t you think Bear would like this for his birthday?” Of course everything at the Vermont Teddy Bear factory is rather on the high end of the pricing scheme, so we did not allow her to purchase with our money all of things that her teddy bear might enjoy. Undeterred, Ruby saved her allowance to buy a birthday present for Bear.
What he really wanted was some clothes, and some shoes so he could walk around on the ground. We know that he has always wanted clothes, because for years he has tried to wear Ruby’s clothes any time she did not feel like getting dressed, causing her to scold him and put the clothes on herself. Silly Bear, clothes are for people. But no longer! Now he would get his own outfit. But which to choose? The superhero outfit, obviously. And then some sneakers for his feet.
Ruby asked almost daily if we could go back to the factory and buy Bear’s present, and I finally gave in about two months ago, so she brought her money and bought his presents and they have been sitting patiently ever since, despite Bear’s insistence that he was going to find them early. To insure that he would not get to them before his birthday, Ruby made Bear another present. A rocketship for him to fly in, made out of a large Raisin Bran box that she decorated herself, which was then filled with his present and wrapped up and hidden on a high shelf (so Bear could not reach it).
As the big day approached, both Ruby and Bear got very excited. We went to the store and bought a cake for his party, which I decorated with, of course, a picture of a Bear. Bears are Bear’s favorite. I made dinner for humans, and Ruby made a dinner for Bear out of some of the toy food from her kitchen set, since he cannot eat real food. And then on to the main event!
Bear blew out his candles (with a little help from Ruby) and he opened his present (with a little more help) as well. I am happy to say that he loved his present and put on his new clothes right away, and I am even more happy to report that the cake was very delicious and I ate an extra piece for Bear.
So Bear, like Ruby, is now six years old. He is an important member of this family, and we were very happy to celebrate his birthday. But now I’m wondering…do I have to buy him a Christmas present too? And what happens when he turns seven? Well, plenty of time to figure that out later. For now I will enjoy Bear being six. Because, after all, teddy bears grow up so fast. Don’t they?