When I first met you,
You were bigger than me.
A father's first gift to his newborn child.
In my earliest memories, you're right there with me:
Playing with you,
Struggling to carry you around,
Sleeping with you as my pillow at night.
Speaking of which, sorry I almost ruined you
By doing that.
I may have been small,
But five years of bedtimes wears out
Even the toughest of pillows.
Once I got a real pillow,
You moved from under me to next to me.
And I know that for a while
I thought you might be dangerous
So I kept one hand on you every night
To make sure you wouldn't come to life
And try to eat me,
But I learned eventually.
I learned that you're just there to help me.
To protect me from terrors
That got more real with time
Instead of less.
From imagined monstrosities
To worldly worries,
You can always soothe me,
Make me feel safe and sleepy,
The way the night should be
Instead of what my mind makes it.
Sending you off to be restored
Was one of the hardest things I've done.
I agonized about whether or not you'd come back.
I went from a peaceful sleeper to an insomniac.
The weird thing is, most people
Have never had a bear like you
To help them sleep. But for me
It was almost totally new.
I had to learn to sleep without you.
And just when I got used to it,
You came back, looking brand new again
After who knows what was done to you.
I hope it didn't hurt.
But you're better now,
And I'm not going to let my head
Put you in tatters again.
I worry about going off to college.
Because I can't very well just lug
This huge teddy bear into the dorm:
"This is Blackberry; I've had him all my life.
He helps me at night. I can't sleep without him."
It would be ludicrous!
College students don't do that.
Well, if I learned to do it once
I can learn it over again.
And I guess that maybe
This is like when I got that other pillow.
How you and I interact
Is going to change,
But that doesn't mean we've stopped.
And even though you're back at home,
You're still protecting me from afar.
That's all for now, I guess.
I'll see you tonight.