09 Feb A Goodbye Letter to My Son’s Pacifiers
Dear Ba-Bees (Translation = What my son calls his pacifiers),
Today we said goodbye to you all. I was told that some really amazing parents out there have tied you all to helium balloons and watched you fly up into the sky in a seemingly majestic and wistful moment of epic departure. Others have taken you to the Build-a-Bear Store and had you sewn into a bear which the child who is attached to you can sleep with. I, on the other hand, am tired and practical – so our whole family simply gathered around our kitchen trash can for the “Bah-Bee Departure Ceremony.”
After two and a half years of various forms of you living in our home, four remained. Way to persevere, by the way. Your brothers and sisters are likely behind our washer and drier, under cushions, or sucked into the vortex of “all childhood items that have been lost but we have no clue where they ended up.” I put all four of you in a little glass box and we told Joseph that it was time to let you go. One by one, he looked at each of you lovingly, even giving one of you a final suck for good measure before tossing you all in the trash. His father took you outside to the curb and Joseph wept.
As he mourned the loss of you, I thought back to when you first entered our previously “Ba-Bee” free home. You see, about three years ago, I had never met or interacted with any of you before. My three other children never wanted you around and found other ways to soothe themselves when they were upset. But my son, upon entering the world, took to you like white on rice and rarely was seen without one or more of you in his mouth.
I’m going to be honest – you were a kinda cute/kinda annoying habit. Cute and sweet when you helped him to sleep, but annoying when he was crying for you and I was left scrambling around in a panic hunting under drawers, in toy boxes, our car, praying “Dear Jesus, please just help me find a paci so my son will stop crying!”
So let’s be honest – we had a relationship, too, you and I. While there were times you helped me out when I was making dinner, you also made me wince in disgust when after falling on the ground of our town park, our local gym, our nearby Chic-Fil-A, our church nursery, and several other germ-infested places, my son grabbed you before I could stop him and popped you back in his mouth.
I made an inner vow not to be one of those parents who runs to Walgreens just to buy more of you at 7pm when there were none of you to be found. Alas, over these last few years I have broken that vow more than once out of fatigue and sheer desperation.
So, its time we part ways for good. Just like his crib was replaced with a big boy bed and his baby curls were snipped off while I looked on tearfully, so now you have been replaced as well….
with a stuffed puppy. Some of my friends suggested I get you a cute “lovey” blanket or stuffed animal to help Joseph transition from the loss of you. So far, while his sweet furry friend is a constant companion, it hasn’t helped me out with nap times the way that you did. But I am optimistic that just like every season of growth and change, it will just take some time.
Everyday he asks for you less and less – but guess what? He still asks for me – a lot. So right now I’m choosing to rejoice that my baby boy still wants to snuggle in his Mommy’s arms – and that’s a habit I pray he never breaks!
While this is the last time I plan to interact with you for several decades (until I meet my grandkids) I commend you to your good work of helping out sleepless and tired parents everywhere.