Wednesday, June 16, 2010

You Can't Put a Price on Lovey

Q.  How do you mend a broken heart? 

A.  With cash.

If you've met my daughter Alex, you've likely met our miniature family member, Lovey Bear.  Little Lovey has been in Alex's life since I received him as a baby shower gift almost 6 years ago and laid him next to her on her very first day of life.  He has been through it all over the course of the last half decade.  He's photographed in nearly every photo ever taken of this little girl, including some professional preschool pictures and in his very own Wizard of Oz photo shoot.  He was Dorothy.

I have re-walked through a Wal-Mart, a Kohls, several Targets and various other retail/restaurant establishments when he has been misplaced during outings. I have dug through every toy box, clothes bin and nook & cranny-- in 4 separate houses-- to recover him when he has gone astray over the years.  He has been washed, dried, soaked in mud, buried in sand, dressed up, peed on, ripped open, sewn, re-stuffed, sewn again and mauled by dogs, cats and various toddlers.

He has had two identical twin relatives purchased, to match him, in the event of a tradgedy, though never, not once has either been picked up and mistaken for him.

What once started as a plump, beige, soft, little stuffed bear, has over the years morphed into a thin, grayish-brown, worn out and smaller shell of a former animal, sort of resembling a bear. 

He's been on boats, planes, in cars, to Disney World, Sea World, doctors appointments, holiday celebrations, birthday parties, and been a guest of honor at numerous tea parties, sleepovers and puppet shows. One year he dressed up as Santa and another year he was a ghost for Halloween.

But the one thing he has never been is lost for good.

This past week dear Lovey went on his very first camping trip to South Dakota, with his best friend Alex and her dad. 

But he never made it home.

After an exhaustive search through sleeping bags, duffle bags, SUVs and surrounding areas---- we realized that state lines were crossed and poor Lovey was left behind.

And while the agony of not knowing his whereabouts was enough to make adults and small children alike weep---the thought of never seeing him again was too much to, well, "bear".

One of the keys to finding Lovey in his many mis-adventures has always been a retracing of steps.  So on Monday, when that retrace led to an Arby's in Rapid City, South Dakota, you can imagine the small level of hope that filled our hearts. 

And when the manager of said Arby's recalled finding him, but then also explained how he threw him away, you can envision that hope slipping away.

So what's a mom or a dad or anyone to do when you are so close, yet literally so far away?  When you can't physically climb in that dumpster and dig, (because you would) what do you do? 

When that manager says "he's gotta be out there, but I don't think anyone'll want to find him in that mess."

What can you do?

Well.....You call.  You beg. You shed a few tears and somehow obtain the cell phone number of the store manager and you call him, text him, and offer him a cash reward if that little bear gets saved before the trashman arrives. 

And then you sit in your office, in the middle of a business meeting, and interrupt it to jump for joy--- along with 9 other adults----who have never met Lovey, but who have maybe had a lovey or have a child, and can totally relate when you take that call from South Dakota, the one call with the best news you've heard all week. 

He's been found.

So Lovey has been everywhere.  And he added the bottom of an Arby's dumpster in the Black Hills to his list. 
And today he's in the U.S. mail. 
And with any luck, he'll be back home soon.

And when he gets here, he's grounded.  And he's never, ever leaving the house again.

So we did everything we could and now.....we wait anxiously for his triumphant return.

The moral of this story? Beside the obvious---- that everything is better covered in Arby sauce----what did we learn? 

We learned that:  Money talks.  Sometimes little bears dress up like Dorothy.  But no matter where his adventures take him, for our Lovey, there is no place like home. 



  1. There is not another original Lovey anywhere... and you can NEVER put a price on love!

    You guys have all the right priorities.

    Love from Michigan,
    Aunt Claire

  2. Lovey's adventures need to be chronicled (ala Corduroy). Ms. Alex needs to start her next book!

  3. Great...I just cried at work. :)

    When that bear gets home, you better lock him up in a safe...after you put him in the wash. :)

  4. Wow thats great, Lovey will be home soon
    keep him close and dont let him out of your
    site again, (kinda like having 2 kids huh)

  5. What an amazing story! So glad you tracked Lovey down! Whew.

    s (& j)

  6. Wow---I never knew what I would start when I picked out that little guy as a shower gift. It makes me so happy that he has given Alex (and the rest of the family) so much joy over the last 5 years. Welcome Back Lovey!

  7. Thanks everyone for your many well wishes for the safe return of Lovey Bear! As of today, Saturday, he has yet to arrive, but we have word that he has officially been dropped in the mail. We'll keep you updated and (hopefully) have great news to share soon!


  8. Awwwww what a sweet story, especially b/c Lovey was found!! My husband and I have 4 stuffed animal "kids" and I think we'd feel the same way as you guys did if we lost any one of them!! I seriously think I would cry... like a baby!! Glad your story turned out well!

  9. Kelly I loved this story. You told it beautifully. I am glad that Lovely Bear has made it home. You are too sweet of a Mother, Kate can still sleep with her blankie but if I find it anywhere in the house I threaten to throw it in the trash. Your methods are probably much more successful than mine;-)

  10. Kelly, such a great story. And your little girl is adorable!!! She looks just like you:) Keep being such a great, devoted Mama.

  11. I stumbled on your blog from researching wedding venues (River Market Event Space led to your Youtube Save the Date and so on) and love it. I saw familiar KC spots and love your house re-do photos and feel a bit creepy posting a comment... but I had a small stuffed toy as a child named Lovey and couldn't help but comment. So glad Lovey is back safe and sound.
    What's even cooler is that looking at your house photos it reminded me of Young House Love and then whoa! Sherry has commented on this post. Super cool.
    Anyhoo. Great blog! I'll probably stop by some more. :)


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