I know the song says “breaking up” but I think growing up is hard to do, too.
Tonight as I was tucking in my son he said, “What should we do with all my stuffed animals? Put them in the basement?”
“Oh,” I said, “are you done with your stuffed animals?” He nodded. “Like done done, or just in storage?”
His eyes filled with tears as he looked away and managed to say, “Storage.”
And the light bulb went on. You see, he turns 9 this week. And he’s having a sleepover.
“You think you’re too old for stuffed animals?” He nodded, still biting his lip and blinking back tears. “You don’t think any of your friends have stuffed animals still?” He shook his head.
I tried to get a smile, “What if they do what you’re doing and just hide their stuffed animals when people come over?” I got my smile, but it was a sad smile.
“Ok, we’ll move your stuffed animals to my room while your friends are here. After they’re gone, we can move them back if you want.” Another nod.
But I couldn’t leave him without one last lesson and bit of advice, “”It’s ok to love things, and it’s ok to love your stuffed animals. Especially over these next few years. You’ll have days when you’re feeling sad like this and just need to hug something. Sometimes just snuggling will make you feel better.”
And as I sit here typing this now, I think maybe I should keep some of his stuffed animals in my room. Because if my baby is too old for stuffed toys, I’m going to need snuggle my own tears away.