animals · slice of life

Big Teddy Sends His Love

Isabelle adores stuffed animals. She tucks a shabby-tan bear nearly everywhere she goes.  Each morning, when my husband leaves for work, she sends him on his way with a stuffed animal and pretend food for the two of them to share while he’s at work. She wants a stuffed animal to accompany him to work to assist to “help kids feel better.”  (Truth be told he keeps the stuffed animal in the back seat of the car, but she thinks they go inside with him.) This little tradition began in early July and has shown no signs of stopping.

I haven’t been away from Isabelle for more than a few hours since late June when I attended the TCRWP Summer Writing Institute. When she heard I was going to the Highlights Foundation to work on my writing for a few days she insisted that I take a stuffed animal with me.  I tried to decline her lovely offer (What if someone saw me bring a teddy bear? Would they think I was sleeping with it!??!), but she was persistent.

“Who do you want me to take?” I asked.

Big Teddy at Highlights
Big Teddy at Highlights

Her eyes scanned the room and settled on one bear in particular. “Take Big Teddy.”

“You know, Big Teddy used to be my teddy bear*. What’s Big Teddy going to do?”

“Help you write,” she said slowly.

“Oh, okay. I’m sure I could use some help with writing since I’m revising a story called ‘Missing Teddy.'”

“Share pens with Big Teddy,” Isabelle said.

“I should share pens with him?” I asked.

Isabelle nodded.  I like that she thinks writers use pens!

“Okay, I’ll share pens with him.”

Before I left (which was carried out of two long hours of Isabelle sobbing on-and-off), she kissed both of us good-bye several times.

On Sunday night, since I knew she was still missing us, I wrote her a letter and sent her some pictures of Big Teddy working here at Highlights.  I hope she enjoyed the note and the photos since I felt kinda silly taking all of those photos. (Initially I planned on keeping Big Teddy in the car, but couldn’t resist the chance to take some writing pics of him.)  Oh, the things we do for our children, right?



So, that was last night. This afternoon I called my in-laws, who are watching Isabelle while I’m away. I asked my mother-in-law what Isabelle thought of the photos and the message.  I figured she’d be excited.  BUT… my mother-in-law was straight with me, which I appreciated.  Isabelle was not impressed. (I could imagine her making McKayla Maroney’s signature facial expression from the 2012 Olympics.) Oh well! At least I tried!

*= Back in the day, Big Teddy was named Koach, which means strength in Hebrew. That was too hard for Isabelle to say so she nicknamed him Big Teddy.


Head over to on Tuesday for more slices of life.
Head over to on Tuesday for more slices of life.

13 thoughts on “Big Teddy Sends His Love

  1. Ah…sigh….we do indeed do ALL these things and MORE than you can even imagine today for our children….This weekend, I drove 90 minutes and then walked 45 blocks into the garment district of fabric, rhinestone, and sequin samples…and I smiled…knowing FULL well..that my ideas are not the ones that really matter….but that seeing life, again, through the ideas of your child is a privilege and an opportunity that only the lucky enough among us get to have….enjoy your time and cuddles with Koach knowing Isabelle is cuddling and bonding with her grandparents….who love her in ways you cannot YET imagine!

  2. This sounds like another “Teddy” story, Stacey. I imagine Isabelle loved your note, but it still isn’t the same as “real” mom. My grand girls are always happy to see their parents, but we do have fun without them too. So glad you’re enjoying the Barn & all that it has. Lovely place!

  3. Well, I loved your narrative of the stuffed animal thing. But I have to say, I wanted to see some drama, or Big Teddy doing something courageous. This is a strange part of writing. As a writing teacher, I love taking photos of kids writing. The more focused and self-forgotten they are, the more I adore the pics.
    But really, when a Teddy goes with you, there’s got to be a conflict or a damsel to save, or something besides sitting around with pen in hand, or laptop. (That picture is funny!)
    Really. I say take him to your next conference and let him mess around a bit. 🙂

    1. I’m up at Highlights again for the weekend. Big Teddy came back up here with me. This time he had an adventure. No damsel to save, but he did sneak out of the cabin and had a little fall. I might share it for SOL on Tuesday. First I have to see what the kiddo thinks of it. (I put it together with Storyrobe.)

  4. It’s so interesting what our kids do and how they process life. We think we know what they want and what they are getting out of it, but I think so often we simplify their thoughts and emotional responses because they are so young and may not have words to put to them YET.

    I love how you have pass on so much of you to Isabelle. Your posts always make me smile.

  5. How sweet that Isabelle didn’t want you to be alone or lonely. I’m sure she appreciated the note and will tell you all about it when you get home.

  6. The things we do is right. I took a small Pablo penguin all over Nashville with me last year for my 4 year old son who was heartbroken that Mommy and Daddy were going somewhere without him. I think it connected him more to us being gone and sending photos. He loved it. Big Teddy is a big animal to cart around. You’re a great mom for doing it. Love this post!

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