Monday, April 30, 2007
This is Bunny. He is very near and dear to Caitlyn's heart. When she was 2 days old, my girlfriend, Suzi, brought him to the hospital for her. It was the first time Suzi had seen Caitlyn. It was also the first time that I ever touched Caitlyn.
Bunny stayed with Caitlyn for the duration of her NICU stay. He travelled from warmer to warmer, isolette to isolette, and crib to crib with her. When it was time for Caitlyn to come home, Bunny came home a day or so earlier as we were taking most of her belongings home. We knew we would have a load to carry with us the day she was leaving, so we figured anything we could get home early, the better.
Once Caitlyn was home, Bunny lived in her crib with her. She paid no attention to him being there, she was too little. But he was there none the less.
Until Caitlyn was nearing 4 years old, she wasn't too concerned with Bunny. However, all of that changed right before her 4th birthday. Since that time, Caitlyn has not been without Bunny in bed with her. Until this weekend that is.
Friday morning, Caitlyn got into my bed just like she always does when Matt heads off to work. But this Friday, she didn't bring Bunny in with her. It was decided that afternoon that she was going to have a sleepover at Grandma's house. I came home to pack up her clothes, and of course get Bunny and snuggle blank (a receiving blanket she has had since homecoming as well, but that's another post and picture). I found snuggle blank easily. Bunny on the other hand, was nowhere to be found. Nowhere.
I called her at my mom's and asked her where he was. She insisted that he was either on her bed or in my bed. Which is where he always is. (We don't take Bunny out anywhere except for sleepovers to prevent him from getting lost.) After looking for 15 minutes with no luck, I went to drop her things off and told her he was somewhere in the house but I couldn't find him. Her response...
"He is probably hiding from me."
For the entire weekend, I looked and looked, and then looked some more, for Bunny. I couldn't find him anywhere. And Caitlyn couldn't find him either. And no matter how hard she tried, she couldn't think of where she last left him.
I was completely devastated by last night. I was convinced that Bunny was gone from our lives forever. Caitlyn was upset. She took another bunny into bed with her last night. When I went to wake her this morning, that bunny was placed neatly on the pillow....far away from her. When she sleeps with Bunny, he is always tucked under her blankets with her, to make sure he stays warm at night. I have seen her in her sleep feel around her bed until she has located him, with her eyes closed, and pull him close to her.
I told Matt that my heart was broken for her. I really thought that this would be the stuffed animal that she has all her life. We all have something that we have had since childhood that we hold very dear to us. And this is what Bunny is for Caitlyn. When she cries, she cries to Bunny. When she plays, Bunny also has a role in whatever she is playing. No he was gone :(
When I was trying to wake her this morning (she is a beast to wake up), I figured I would look some more in her room. Because I figured that the 763 times I looked over the weekend, I hadn't done it efficiently enough. As I was picking up her sleeping bag to fold and put back on her bed, Bunny fell out!
I wanted to scream with excitement. Instead, I put Bunny on her chest and told her to open her eyes because she had a surprise visitor. When her eyes opened, they were the happiest eyes you can imagine! She pulled him so close to her and gave him the biggest hug. Then she rolled over and tried to go back to sleep much to my dismay.
When she asked me where he was hiding, I told her I found him in her sleeping bag. Her response....
"I put him there Friday night to make sure he stayed warm. I remember now Mommy."
Remembering now didn't do me any good all weekend. But I am almost certain that we will all be sleeping a little better tonight now that Bunny has returned safely.