Awhile back I got a Facebook message from my childhood friend, Sarah. She was going to be on the Oregon Coast with her husband and family and wanted to know if we wanted to meet up. Of course I did. I hadn’t seen Sarah in FOREVER. They wanted to check out the aquarium so Abigail and I went along.
We had a great time trying to summarize what had been happening in our lives over the last 10 years,TEN YEARS, while entertaining and chasing a toddler around. Sarah’s mom was there, too, spoiling Abigail with gobs of attention.
The visit ended all too soon. But not before Abigail tore into the gift shop and grabbed a pile of white stuffed seals. Sarah’s mom decided that Abigail needed one of those seals so she bought her one. It was such a sweet gesture and made me have a moment where I wanted to hug her and say thank you. Thank you for treating Abigail like a grandchild and doing this very grandmotherish thing by buying her that little stuffed seal.
Sarah’s mom named it CeCe and it stuck — maybe because one of the only things Abigail can say perfectly is “SEE! SEE!” We call her Cecelia for long.
CeCe has become Abigail’s constant companion. When I get Abigail up from a nap or a night’s sleep and give her a kiss she holds CeCe up for a kiss, too. CeCe travels to friends’ houses and to the beach. She eats pancakes at our favorite breakfast spots. When CeCe was lost for a whole day I told Abigail that she must be out on some exciting ocean adventure. Twenty four hours later I found her in the master bathroom inside the cabinet. I wish I had a picture of their reunion.
Because of the constant paling around CeCe the white seal quickly disguises herself as CeCe the gray seal. CeCe gets washed in a pillowcase at least once a week, twice on really exciting weeks. I can already see the seal’s nose getting worn and the whiskers that were once straight out are now hugging the side of CeCe’s face. And it made me start to wonder if I should get a back up CeCe. I’ve heard of people doing that — having two identical comfort items so their child never has to be without it or if it gets lost another magically appears.
But I also think there is no way CeCe could ever be replaced. What makes this little seal so special is the story of how it came into our lives and how Abigail, with no encouraging from anyone, became so attached to it. Cecelia is one of a kind. I think Abigail feels that way, too.
So. What do you think? Should we get a back up seal? Does/Did your child have a spare comfort item “just in case?”