That's his name. The name Eliza gave her lovey as soon as she could talk. The little stuffed dog that brings a bigger smile to my daughter's face than just about anything or anyone else. The little guy that accompanies her to school, playdates with friends, and sleepovers at grandma's house. The guy who provides her comfort in new situations, makes her feel better when she gets hurt, and soothes her to sleep. I always knew how much Eliza loved him, I just never realized how much he meant to me...until we lost him.
When I realized we couldn't find Da, I didn't panic right away. However, the look on my daughter's face gutted me...and I started running around the apartment calling his name. (Yup, calling. his. name. As if the little black & white stuffed puppy with a blanket coming out of his ass would answer me back. This is what motherhood has done to me). When we couldn't find him I started retracing our steps of the day: calling the restaurant we were just at and even swooping Eliza up and heading outside to visit the light rail station nearby. Nada.
Eliza kept saying, "Oh no, mommy!" I wanted to tell her we would find him or that it would be ok. But instead, I was thinking about how I would have to tell her that he was gone. I was thinking about her very first night going to sleep without him. I couldn't do it...and I started crying too.
I instantly felt like the worst mom ever. Why didn't I get more of those guys? Why didn't I keep a better eye on him? I felt like I had just lost a piece of my child's safety net. I lost a piece of her comfort zone...and as sorry and sad as I felt for her loss, I felt a loss too. I felt like I lost a piece of her childhood. I know it sounds crazy, but was SO crushed at the thought of not being able to save him as a keepsake. Something to keep in her baby box and feel nostalgic about every time we saw him. I felt like I lost a connection to her baby years.
I cried as we walked home, calling my husband to tell him the sad news (as he was about to board a flight, poor guy). And of course Eliza just kept saying, "Oh no, Mommy!"
When we got back into the house, I decided to look around the house again-- much calmer this time. And...WE FOUND HIM! OMFG WE FOUND DA! The yells and cheers probably startled our neighbors, but we were just SO happy!!
So, now we have a few more new Da's, and although Eliza can tell the difference and wants nothing to do with them, I am on a mission to make them feel, look, & smell just like her beloved Da. My internet search on how to do this yielded NOTHING! Has no one ever had this problem before?! So, I'm totally winging it...and I'll let you know what I figure out!
Do you have any ideas? Help!
Cassie (& Eliza)