I have been sleeping with stuffed animals ever since I was born. I had at least five (5) in my crib, and I knew when one of them was missing. My parents called them my “bedtime buddies”. My mom and dad have told me that i would cry until all of them were in my crib. My parents would have to look all around my room looking for the missing “bedtime buddy” to put it back in my crib. My dad said that I would fall asleep fast with my “bedtime buddies”.
Christmas 1983, I was living in Kailua, O’ahu, when I received my very first Carebear, Bedtime Bear. He was blue, and I loved him. 1983 is when Carebears first came out. I slept with him that night, and every night since. When I say ever night, I mean every single night. I brought him with me on every single vacation (except for my trip to Paris). When I do not have him, I can’t sleep because I’m scared. Hugging my Bedtime Bear helps me to feel safe, and I didn’t let him go. I grew attached to my Bedtime Bear, and I’ve had him with me all these years.
Fast forward to Christmas Eve 2018, I noticed that the patch on his stomach was starting to come off. I knew I had to be very careful with him and I didn’t want to admit to it, but the time was coming to find another stuffed animal to sleep with at night. I figured if I was careful with him, it’ll be ok. Well, Christmas morning I heard a quick rip. I jolted up and immediately checked my Bedtime Bear. Sure enough, my finger got caught in one of the ‘holes’ where the patch was separated from his stomach, and it ripped when I rolled over. The patch was still on, but now it was half way off.
Originally, I thought that sleeping with my Bedtime Bear was just a habit that little kids have. However, I have tried to sleep without my bear numerous times and I couldn’t sleep. I felt scared, and I didn’t feel safe at all. Now, people can make fun of me all they want, they do not understand. I have no shame, and this is who I am.
I was sad. Now I had to face getting another stuffed animal, and put my Bedtime Bear on my nightstand. I had found online a blue bear that is 16″, and has the Superman logo all over it. I figured this was perfect because my best friend loves Superman, and he is the one I turn to when I’m scared, need advice, etc. I figured that it might help me feel safe when I go to sleep. I was sad that I’d have to say goodbye to falling asleep with my Bedtime Bear, and I ordered the blue Superman bear.
When I had told my mom about my Bedtime Bear, she tried to help me fix the patch. It was a no go. My dad came into the living room and I told my dad about my Bedtime Bear. My dad said that he couldn’t believe I still sleep with that bear. With a smile on his face he looked at my bear, and he said how he remembered the look on my face when I opened him up on Christmas morning. Then she came to me and said that my new Bedtime Bear will be delivered to me on Wednesday. She managed to find the original Bedtime Bear that was released in 1983, that was in almost mint condition. She said that she figured I’d want a new one for my birthday. She was right, as mom’s usually are.
I kew that I was going to have trouble adjusting to sleeping with a new bear. My bear had been with me since I was three (3) years old. My bear is familiar, and the new one’s weren’t. As much as I wanted to grab for my old bear, I tried like hell to sleep with both of my new bears, I’d try to fall asleep holding my new Bedtime Bear, with my old Bed Time Bear and my blue Superman bear was close by on my bed.
I knew that it would be difficult for me to adjust to sleeping with a new bear. Keep in mind, I’ve had my Bedtime Bear since 1983, it is now 2018. It was difficult for me not to reach for him, my Bedtime Bear is familiar, and I’ve felt safe with him for most of my life. After just a couple of days, I have grown accustomed to going to sleep with both bears, the newly ordered Bedtime Bear, and my blue Superman bear. Yes, I still keep my first Bed Time Bear very close by, mainly on the corner of my bed. It’s a happy ending.