Last night, I saw my mommy-life flash before my eyes. We were mid-way home from our trip to Connecticut. It wasn’t the plane ride, or the airports, or the unsafe bus, or the fact that we were all exceedingly ill that pushed me over the edge. It was Bean.
Bean, Dulce’s blanket and lovey.
You see that pile of dusty, threadbare pink in the middle? That’s Bean. Sitting right next to Bear, Natalina’s lovey. Bean watches us eat. She watches TV with us. We pretend to feed Bean. Bean goes potty with us. Bean definitely sleeps with us. Bean is the perfect complement to a pointer finger in the mouth in the late hours of the night or the early hours of the morning. Bean understands Dulce like no one else.
Bean is torn, tattered and faded. In fact, when describing her to a stranger who was doing a last check on the now-vacant bus for us, I said, “Please, sir, can you just check the corners and floor for an old pink rag?”
I felt bad. Poor Bean. What an awful description.
Of course, the main point here is that Bean was lost. We had lost Bean. Dulce, already strapped in the car and ready for some well-deserved pointer-finger action after a long day of traveling, was calling for her.
“You lost Bean? How could you lose Bean? You know better than that. Really? Are you sure? You lost her?” My husband, beside himself.
“I… I didn’t lose her. The baby must have dropped her.”
Oh, okay, sure, Darlena. Blame the baby. In my defense, I was reacting in cold fear of the nights and weeks and life ahead of me, should Bean fail to appear.
I saw then where my priorities actually lie these days. I even thought, ‘Oh, I wish I had lost my license, instead. I wish I had lost a bag. Anything but Bean.’
That rag, worthless to the common eye, is worth more than spending the day at the DMV to me. It’s worth more than a $200 necklace. More than an entire week’s worth of clothes. Bean has quietly risen to being one of the most important things in my life.
We were headed back to the airport. I would scour the grounds, asking the throngs of people if they had seen a faded pink rag. I would check the trash cans. I would cry at security if I had to. I would make them turn that plane back around somehow.
Then, we found her. I had stashed her in a bag after Dulce had dropped her for the umpteenth time. The whole ride home, I was merely thankful Bean was still with us. I could hardly think of anything else except for what my life would have been like without her.
Turns out, we did leave a bag. Now, I’m biased because it’s my husband’s bag, and I only have a few things in it, but I’m so thankful it’s the bag and not Bean that’s missing. And it only further proves how important that scrap of cloth is. We left his bag at the car lot because we were madly searching for Bean and took off in a cloud of worry, without checking that we had everything.
Don’t be like me, parents. Have a spare. Someday, this nightmare will be my reality. Whether we lose her or she disintegrates completely, someday, we will no longer have been. And my life will never be the same. Buy many, many loveys. Switch them out frequently when your kids are babies so they get equal use and wear. You need spare loveys. Your future depends on it. Save yourself.
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