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Pooh Bear’s Gift

My son likes Winnie the Pooh. Actually, it’s a bit beyond like. If a day goes by without him watching a Winnie the Pooh episode or reading a Pooh story, he’s more cranky than I am on the days I skip my chai.Allen with Pooh and Tigger

But who doesn’t love Pooh? Who couldn’t love pretty much all the characters, in their own way?

The other day, Allen was watching the original Pooh movie… you know, the one we all probably watched when we were kids.

It came to the part about Eeyore’s birthday, where he is not surprised that no one knew it was his birthday. He’s just sitting there, gloomy as ever. Pooh and Piglet decide they should get a gift for him and rush off to their respective houses to find something.

Pooh finds a pot of honey (what else?) and begins the walk to Eeyore’s houseless hill. On the way, he gets a rumbly in his tumbly and decides he better sample the honey, “to make sure it’s okay”. Before he knows it, the honey is gone and he’s left with an empty—and rather sticky—pot. He heads to Owl’s tree house and Owl scribbles a birthday message on the pot, so that Pooh can present Eeyore with “a useful pot” for his birthday.

Meanwhile, Piglet finds the perfect gift, a red balloon that was three times his size. As he heads off to find Eeyore, the inevitable happens: the balloon pops.

Piglet arrives first with his “gift”, stammering his way through the story of what happened as he presents the broken and deflated red balloon. Just then, Pooh shows up with his gift.

“It’s a useful pot, and it’s for keeping things in,” he cheerily states to Eeyore.

“Like a balloon?” Eeyore asks.

“Oh, no. A balloon is too big to…” Pooh stops short when he sees Eeyore put the little red object into the pot and then pull it back out.

“Red, my favorite color…” Eeyore says…happily?

Parenting is like that sometimes. We have great ideas and concepts, hopes and the way we expect things to turn out. They never do turn out that way, though, do they? Sometimes we have to improvise, or come up with a whole new plan.

Then we have our kids, who don’t seem to mind; or if they do, they roll with the punches pretty well. Like Eeyore—well, at least in that scene—our kids are happy with what we have to offer. They are forgiving of the mistakes we make. Actually, they don’t even seem to notice.

Okay, I realize parenting is not quite as uncomplicated as an episode of Winnie the Pooh. Situations are not always resolved within 10-20 minutes. But at times like that, I can always put on Winnie the Pooh for my son, and make myself that cup of chai.


[Reposted from May, 2011]


A Valentine for Pooh … and for Me Too

Pooh and pigletIt had been a long day. A bit of a rough day too, on account of my afternoon headache, which seemed to come out of nowhere. I don’t usually get headaches, which makes it difficult for me to learn to operate with grace when they occur.

By early evening, I was nauseated and dizzy after an afternoon of classes. I asked my husband if he could manage the kids for a bit while I “took five” — which turned out to be thirty-five.

I woke to find them all watching a short video, Winnie the Pooh. It used to be my son’s favorite. When he was three, a day wasn’t complete unless he had seen at least one episode of Winnie the Pooh. These days, with lots of other videos to choose from, I’m not sure whether he would still call it his favorite, but it’s still enjoyed by all.

The episode was halfway over, but I recognized it right away. It was the Valentine one… it had been my son’s favorite for a while a couple years back. In this one, Pooh bear discovers a Valentine from Christopher Robin to someone special … and that someone was not him. He was heartbroken, well, as heartbroken as possible for a Pooh-with-very-little-brain. By the end though, he decides that he will not get in the way of that friendship, even if it means he no longer had a place in Christopher Robin’s heart.

“I just want him to be happy,” Pooh declares in his wheezy voice and he walks down the path, sad but surrendered. He returns home and finds, to his surprise, a Valentine card, just for him. Tigger, Rabbit, Piglet, and even Eeyore, also discover their Valentine cards.

Pooh finds Christopher Robin sitting on a hill, looking into the sunset. He expresses his surprise at receiving a Valentine card. Christopher reassures him by singing a song of friendship. The chorus goes something like this:

“There are places in the heart that always know a friend,
Through good and bad or glad times, the heart remembers them,
There are new friends yet to meet; there’s a place for them to start,
But old friends always keep their places in the heart.”

When the evening was over, I went to tuck the kids in, and found my son laying Pooh and Tigger, his stuffed toys, gently on his pillow before lying down next to them.

After praying with them and giving them kisses, I went to finish up the dishes, thankful that my headache had subsided. There, perched on the kitchen counter, was a heart cut-out, one that could only have been crafted by a child. One side had little petals glued on it. The other side said, “I love you mom.”

I might have gotten a few Valentine’s cards in my time, and each one is meaningful and treasured … but I know that a crooked heart with squiggly handwriting will always have a special place in my heart, as will the one who created it just for me before he headed to cuddle with his Pooh bear and drift off to sleep.