Eloise received a giant stuffed panda bear for Christmas. ‘Po’ has now become more treasured than the cat, a bed companion, excellent lounge chair, and is constantly being dragged around the house. He even has a chair at the dining room table as he’s required to take meals with us. Eloise takes him to sleepovers(sorry sleepover-hosting people) and I’m required to kiss him goodnight as I tuck him into bed each night next to her.
Certain sisters use him as a napping stop when Eloise is not at home and must leave Po behind. I might also rest against his soft, fuzzy belly in the cold afternoons.
I was surprised when Eloise asked for a giant stuffed animal for Christmas. It was the only item on her list. Most tweens probably asked for new iThings and video games and cool clothing and things that sparkle or beep.
But she just wanted a soft spot to land each day.
Don’t we all. And I admit that I like Jed even a little more when he wear a soft fleece vest that feels nice when I rest my head on his chest as we snuggle on the couch.
Life can be very hard and sharp some days. This season the winter storms beat on our faces with ice pellets, words can be sharp against us, and love can be complicated. My dry skin cracks and hurts in the same way that the dark days of now can so easily determine bad moods of depression.
Sometimes it’s so hard to see the sun through the gray and to know that when you are home you can find that soft place to land. Soft in heart and love as you are surrounded by your closest trust circle, but also now by an overly large panda bear who has found just the perfect home.
I think Eloise has been feeling a bit ‘alone’ lately. Growing quickly out of little girl looks and wants and into a new chapter of her life. I think she needs me more than she cares to admit, and as a shy girl she’s unwilling to ask questions or inquire about important and even frivolous life things. She’s not a cuddler and will duck away if you try to steal a hug or kiss. She is sharp herself – bony and angular without a physical hint softness to help her land.
But her heart is pure and soft and kind. When you meet her and know her she kind of feels like it does when you watch one of those cute baby panda videos as they slide or play with a ball. You can’t help but smile and feel like the world is pretty much perfect because they are in it.
Maybe that’s why Eloise likes pandas so much.
And I hope that Po will give her the soft landing she needs for many years to come. We all need a friend like him.
My friends Alison and Greta are hosting a year-long photography project “Through The Lens Thursday” – and I would love for you to click over the learn more about it. The theme this week is ‘soft.’ My goal in 2014 is to meet my camera again. “Hi Camera! I’ve missed you!” and perhaps their project is just the soft kick in the designer skirt I need to get started again.
In other exciting news – A new site is launching soon called the Twin Cities Mom Blog and I am thrilled to be a contributor! More info coming soon when we launch later this month!