My 4 year-old son has a sleeping buddy. His buddy, Bobby, is a blue lion that has a stuffed head and a blanket body. Every night, my son spreads him out just right on his pillow so he can sleep. He will only sleep on one side of Bobby. He says it is the cooler side. We make sure that Bobby is with us if there is a chance for sleep (nap or nighttime - Bobby is a must).
When we got ready for our vacation, we made sure Bobby was packed. During the hour and half drive to the airport, my son asked for Bobby. He was tired already. My husband told him that Bobby was packed but that we would get him out of the suitcase when we got to the airport.
There was a lot to do at the airport. The kids were excited. People were everywhere. We had to check in. We took our bags to luggage check-in and then we waited in line to go through security. My son was tired. He complained about not wanting to stand in line. He wanted someone to carry him. He wanted Bobby. My husband gave me a look and, in an instant, I knew we were in trouble.
We broke the news gently that Bobby was still packed in a suitcase. My son's heart broke. We assured him that we would get Bobby as soon as we landed and got our bags. He cried and cried and continued to cry. He cried for an hour as we waited to get on the plane.
The trip was long. We had one 4 hour flight, an hour lay over, and then a 45 minute flight. We were tired (especially me) when we arrived. I was standing with family watching the kids run around when I heard the announcement for anyone missing luggage to report to the airline desk. I watched my husband come get his ticket and I asked him if we were missing bags. He said, "Only one" and he gave me that look again.
Sure enough, all of our bags made it except the bag with Bobby.
That night, my son handled not having Bobby like a champ. He was extremely tired and happy to be with family. As I helped him fold a blanket and place it on his pillow, he said, "Momma, this doesn't feel like Bobby."
The whole situation squeezed this Momma's heart.
Our bag was returned. I felt like a hero when I handed my son his treasured Bobby.
I know I am going to miss his love of Bobby one day.