Pooh Bear has been in and out of my life since the beginning. When I was really small (like 2 – 3 years old), I would tell my parents that since Winnie the Pooh had it (“it” being a toy or other item I wanted), I should have it. Later, at the sophisticated age of 4, I married Pooh Bear (in a polygamous relationship with some other toys, and catch phrases I had learned).
I watched the Pooh Bear movies over and over again. I loved the songs and would sing them often and listen to records featuring Pooh and his friends. As I child, I never had much use for Classic Pooh. I don’t think I even knew about “Classic” Pooh as a child, so dominant were the movies in my imagination.
Pooh and I had a separation for a while. I was more into horses, movie stars and science fiction.
It was only after I had grown up and had my own child that Pooh entered my life again. I did not decorate Michael’s nursery with Pooh or have a lot of Pooh items (although given my previous inclinations, I am not sure why—perhaps my irritation with Uncle Walt’s commercialization?). My mother-in-law gave me a Classic Pooh Nursing Pillow. And it was well used by Michael and me. Oftentimes I would look at the characters and imagine them playing across the pillow (like they came off the pages in the movies). That pillow went through a lot with me and I regret that it had an unfortunate run in with the dryer a few years back.
Reading the books to my son was a highlight of our bedtime routine for a while. I particularly remember the first time I read the last book. Michael was seven years old and I had bought him an unabridged collection of the books. We relished each chapter, sometimes going past normal reading time to finish. As I read the end of the last book, I started to tear up. I cried as I read about Christopher Robin growing up and he and Pooh going off into the sunset together. It was the first time I had really acknowledged that my son who I was reading to—was growing up too. Willow has a pop-up book of one of the stories—but she will not inherit that collection—that is Michael’s and I treasure that time with him and hope that he will think of it too years from now when he reads it to his children.
And now we come to the reason I have thought of this Pooh Bear…this silly old bear is soon to be inhabiting the nursery of my dear brother’s children. And I am so happy that Pooh and I will have some more good times together soon!
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