Military Goodbyes and Pink Baby

July 24, 2008 | Categrory: kids and deployment, military kids, parenting

How do we do it? Those days when we know a goodbye is looming on the horizon? My little granddaughter had a fit last night because we could not find her pink baby. Pink baby has been a part of her life since the beginning. She opened her up, a gift from her Gigi (great -gramma) on her first birthday. Her eyes lit up and Pink baby has been by her side from that day on.

Pink baby has a life of her own and I am sure that though her features are sewn on, she has emotions flitting across her love stained face. No matter how many times she sees the inside of a washing machine, she still looks a bit worse for wear. If you have ever read the velveteen rabbit though, you know this is what makes her real!:)

Pink baby has been lost in a variety of places (too many to list!), the mall, the grocery store, church,  the home of who ever has had her darling little owner over night. She has even gotten locked into the library at Ft. Eustis, and the MP’s were called (by her distraught Mommy who knew full well the long weekend was going to be worse for her than for anyone else!) but heartlessly they refused to break into the library .My grandaughter learned a lesson of patience and waiting. Finally Monday brought the natural unlocking of Pink Baby’s confinment.

Pink Baby has shared tears, secrets and hugs…the doll carrier on the back of a bike with training wheels. She has indeed become “real”. All this had to be explained so you will understand the dimensions of disaster not finding Pink Baby promised!

As I said earlier, we could not find Pink Baby and I was looking EVERYWHERE…every crevice, under furniture, could the dogs have torn her up in the backyard? The thought made my hair stand on end, but no pink material scattered in the yard, (whew)! My granddaughter, her brother, and her Daddy left to visit Gigi, I continued the hunt, even going out to the trash to see if little brother may have accidentally dropped pink baby there. The shaking sobs of my little one still reverberating in my head, I am praying, asking the God of the Universe to reveal a dirty stuffed doll, because I cannot stand it!

I stripped the beds, and there she was in all her pink glory! Snuggled safe and sound at the very end of my bed.

I walked over the Gigi’s to place Pink Baby in her little owners arms. You see, the thing is not Pink baby. It is loss. We are sitting on the edge of deployment. I felt as much like crying over pink baby as my little one. it is loss , and pink baby reminded us, that we cannot always have any control over where our loved ones are.

One day soon her Daddy will be marching off to war again, and we will say goodbye. She and I and all the rest of us here at home will watch, wave, and feel the loss. We will be here waiting for his safe return. She’s gonna need Pink Baby.

Parents, try to remember, when your little ones have a treasured doll, animal or blanket, that it really means a lot to them. These things become a needed coping mechanism. Remember too, that it is natural for emotions to run amuk, and for kids to react in multiples of a hundred to anything that would only slightly upset them normally. Remember , it is loss, that brings the tears. It is loss (yours)that makes you wish they would knock it off (it’s just a stupid toy after all).

God bless and be with each one of you who face this same thing today.