We’ve been talking about what to get everybody for Christmas and that includes my granddaughters Raegan and Emma—except we call them MissChiff and Spike. (It’s a long story). Raegan’s going to be 3 in January and Spike’s going to be one in March.
My son Mike and grandaughters Raegan and Emma on Halloween
Anyway, we had talked about a big, cuddly, stuffed bear for Spike (Emma). She’s still crawling and isn’t quite ready for a lot of toys yet. (Besides we have a rule that toys should be fun, not “educational” or battery operated). So Carolyn was out and about yesterday and her shopping took her into Walgreen’s.
While she was looking around, she happened to look up on top of a shelf and spotted some really cool stuffed bears. These were about 2 feet tall, plush and cuddly. But she wasn’t too fond of the colors—mostly white, beige and tan; not the best colors for a toddler who’s going to drag it around, drool on it and maybe even worse.
Carolyn swears she felt something looking at her. It was from above and behind her. She turned around and looked up. There was another bear. Bigger. Lots bigger. Looking down at her. Big, furry and chocolate brown. It was luxurious.
She looked up at him and stretched up on her tip-toes to squeeze his foot and check out the price tag. She got a sense that he was talking to her in that sage, silent way of stuffed bears. “I can take care of your granddaughters,” he seemed to be saying.
Carolyn turned around to check out the other bears again and when she did, Wilfred fell off the top shelf and landed right behind her. She jumped a bit and turned around, saw him on the floor and picked him up. “Hmmmm, I guess you want to come home with me then,” she said to him.
She lugged the 4 foot tall bear to the front of the store and paid for him. There wasn't a bag big enough for him but she didn't want to put him in a bag anyway--he was about to become "family". She paid for the bear and brought him home and set him in the middle of our bed and then kneeled down in front of him.
“You know, you have a job—to watch over two very special girls,” Carolyn said.
"You might get barfed on or drooled on, but just that means you’re loved."
"Even if you end up in the closet you still have a job to do."
Carolyn Looked at his face. It seemed as though he was not just ready, but eager. She saw patience and wisdom, almost like a Grandpa Bear. And then she noticed. He looks like Wilford Brimley. And that's how he got his name. Wilford.
"That’s your name, she said. "Wilford. And their names are Raegan and Emma but we call them MissChiff and Sidekick Spike. OK?"
And you know, Carolyn swears that Wilford somehow managed to tell her that he was looking forward to it. "I got shivers on my arms," she told me, "It was uncanny and eerie."
"Well, I think you’ve got a job," Carolyn announced. " You just have to get Walt’s OK when he gets home."
"They got a good momma & a good daddy who take care of them and provide for them.
Little girls still need a friend looking out after them—OK?"
Wilford seemed to be totally all right with that.
Anyway, Carolyn plopped him sitting up on our bed. And when I got home from work she forgot to tell me about it. I went into our bedroom to change and spotted this huge, brown object sitting upright on the bed and got the crap scared out of me.
Then Carolyn came in and told me the story of how Wilford the Guardian Bear came to be in our home. That's the story I just told.
Oh, and yeah, I'm totally all right with Wilford. He's got my official Okey Dokey!
I hope he enjoys his trip to his new home in Lincoln, Nebraska. A big brown bear in a big brown UPS truck heading to his new home with MissChiff and Sidekick Spike.