blunudle's Journal

A little bit of everything....

I sat at my kitchen table last night quietly observing my 12 year old son from over the edge of my laptop screen as he diligently worked his way through his daily chores of emptying the dishwasher,  feeding the animals, etc. I found myself in awe.  When did he grow up?  I could still see his little smile and bright eyes surrounded by those Mogely-like dark brown curls, gazing up at me and could still hear that incredible peel of laughter as he would run down the hallway knowing I would chase after him, hug him up and give him little butterfly kisses making him shreek with laughter.

I had this sudden flashback.  My cell phone rang right in the middle of a meeting. When I saw that it was my husband, I quickly excused myself because he and my 3 year old son were boarding a flight in Miami ontheir way to Trinidad to see the grandparents, where  I would be joining them  3 days later. 

I answered the call expecting my husband's voice, but instead I heard my son, barely above a whisper, say, "Mommy (pause) I lost Schweetheart."  His voice was hoarse as he fought back the tears."  I needed to make it all better, but their plane was taking off and I was back in Ohio!  Tears sprang to my eyes and I used the most assuring voice that I could muster and told him that Mommy would find Schweetheart and do my best to pick him up on my way, and not to worry, someone would take care of him until he could come home.

The year was 2001 and Schweetheart was a limited edition Beanie Buddy Orangutan that I had purchased on a whim from the local Hallmark in December of 1999, when my son was less than a year old.   I was paying for a birthday card as one of the clerks standing behind the counter opened a box and out came the cutest little scarlet, stuffed orangutan name Schweetheart.  It said so on his little name tag.

It was a must have.  I took it home and for almost a year he would not have anything to do with it.  Schweetheart bounced around from the corner of his bed, to being randomly tossed into the toy box, to back into his room on a bean bag chair until finally one day I saw my son holding onto him in his sleep.  I could not believe it!  So for a year and a half this funny little orangutan never left his side.  He couldn't sleep without him, wouldn't go to Auntie Carol's without him, and certainly would not leave the country without him in tow.

That fateful day, my son pulled his little colorful carryon luggage with wheels behind him through the busy Miami International Airport with his little buddy fastened into the bungy chord across the top of his luggage.  When they reached the gate, after a grueling security checkpoint, he looked up at his dad with tears in his eyes and announced that he did not know where Schweetheart was.  They rushed back to the terminal to retrace their steps, which wasn't easy with a 3 year old trying to run while pulling luggage, but they did it, only to find no sign of him anywhere.

As soon as I made the promise to my son, I prayed that I could keep it.  I jumped onto the internet , located the phone number to the Miami International Airport and began a barrage of phone calls tryingn to locate their lost and found, and ultimately Schweetheart.  All of  this was for not because I was told that any random items, including stuffed animals were considered unidentifiable and possibly dangerous objects, therefore destroyed.  Remember, it was 2001 and it was December.  There were no chances being taken.   I was heartbroken, but continued to plan B.

I started looking online, because I couldn't find a trace of where to buy him locally.  Apparently, they were only sold for a very limited time in 1999.  I was racing against the clock because I was scheduled to work a full day the next morning, come home and pack, and then catch a late morning flight out of Ohio to Miami, and then catching a connecting flight to Trinidad.

The unthinkable happened!  I got lucky and found a guy selling Beanie Buddies, the original limited editions, out of Akron, but there would not be enough time to drive and pick it up as it was several hours away and it was Monday afternoon.  I emailed him instantly and explained what had happened.  Christmas came early.  He was so touched by my story that he immediately offered to drive to a Fedex and have it shipped overnight before the 4pm cutoff.  I thanked him profusely and waited anxiously for the delivery the next day.  My neighbor called me to confirm that a package from Akron had arrived mid-day and by the grace of God, the new Schweetheart was waiting on my doorstep  when I got home.

I arrived in Trinidad around eight in the evening the following day.  As we pulled up to the house in the dark, the front door opened and I saw his little silhoette in the doorway.  When he saw me, he started running to me, slowly at first and then his little legs picked up speed.  I knelt down on one knee, tucked Schweetheart behind my back.  He collapsed against me, little face tucked into my neck, and held him with my right arm and slid his little buddy around until he was snuggled up against him.  When he realized what was so soft against his arm he squeeled his name and was crying and hugging me at the same time.

It wasn't until many years later, seven, in fact, that he learned the truth about the two Schweethearts.  He couldn't believe it.  Schweetheart was a decoy!  Then it dawned on him the effort that I made to make sure that he didn't lose his little buddy.  At the wise age of 10, he came up to me and gave me the biggest hug and the sweetest, Thank you, Mommy!

This is Schweetheart!

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Comments:

Lb128f
Oct. 23, 2010 at 2:38 PM

Beautiful story...I love it! Thank you for sharing it with us!! Your son sounds like a great young man and you are a great Mom....both of you are lucky!

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dancer
Oct. 23, 2010 at 3:30 PM

Beautiful story!!!!

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benji...
Oct. 24, 2010 at 10:20 PM

crying my eyes out lol!

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