Starting with a sidenote: Old pictures really can do a number on you, can’t they? I’d forgotten that humidifier (and how dry that old house was). I’d forgotten how Violet would love to roll it out and stick her face above the fan so that the damp air would blow right on her. I’d forgotten how she would carry all those stuffed animals one by one and stack them and arrange them on whatever flat surface was closest to her. And then start the process all over again when she moved to a new location. I forgot that she really was that little once and how I loved those jammie jumper things (especially in the winter) and almost always had her in one because they were cozy, warm, and easy to launder. I forgot how long, and hard, and exhausting those days were because looking back they seem so short, and magical, and fast.
Wolfie was a gift from a woman named Diane. You know those people who get put in your life for a very specific time and for a very specific purpose? That was Diane. She had recently moved to the area and we happened to join a local volunteer organization around the same time. She had a grand baby about the same age as Violet, but lived far enough away that she didn’t get to see him often. I didn’t know her well but I think she knew I needed someone so we had lunch or coffee occasionally. I knew she missed her grand baby and loved having the opportunity to see another little one the same age but still I was surprised when she brought a gift at coffee for Violet’s first birthday. (Which goes to show you how much of a new mother I was…how fun to buy for babies!!)
And then there was Wolfie. After months of trying to get her to connect with dolls, blankets, other stuffed animals, it was instantaneous. He was her lovey. I’m not sure the alchemy involved. I just know that she went down for a nap with him that afternoon and has loved him ever since. (Abram was the same way. We tried and tried to find a security object for him only to have Violet pick out a stuffed raccoon that he connected with immediately.)
Diane moved closer to her grandbabies . We sent Christmas cards a few times but lost touch.
Wolfie, however, has remained constant.
He’s had surgery to reattach his tail a few times (and currently needs it again as he has developed a bit of a hole), he’s been left in hotels and shipped home, he’s been rescued off a plane by a VERY kind flight attendant when he was forgotten, and he’s been searched for often when stuffed in a toddler hiding place and left behind. (Jesse and I became quite the pros at finding Wolfie at the end of the day). Once when he was lost on a stroller/playground adventure, my friend took the very first picture on the left and made up a reward poster which we distributed through the neighborhood. (He was turned into the area elementary school about a week later.)
He’s gone to doctor appointments and dentist appointments (especially when teeth needed to be extracted), he’s traveled out of the country as many times as I have (which seems a little unfair, actually), his tail has been rendered flat from Violet running her thumb and forefinger down either side as she goes to sleep and she blames his floppy head on her “squishing the life out of his neck when I hold him” which is in evidence in the pictures above. He is loved, and special, and so very, very real.