Monday, January 14, 2013
Teddy, where are you?
This is a very emotional topic for me but I wanted to share and preserve the memory. After 8+ hours sitting in O'hare airport we boarded our long haul flight to Shanghai. I had the pleasure to sit by Jake for this leg of our journey. It was Jake and I together for the next 14 hours. We checked out all the neat gadgets in our seats, had dinner together and watched movies side by side. I was watching an action flick and I could see his little eyes peer off from his "kid-friendly" movie to watch my screen.
After a few hours into the flight we reclined our chairs all the way flat and settled in hoping to sleep for 5-7 hours. We found our blankets and pillows and slept side by side. Jake also grabbed his Teddy Bear from his backpack to snuggle with.
Now let me flashback for a bit. We allowed the kids 1 stuffed animal in our luggage (their backpacks) and a few more in our air shipment and the rest coming in our sea shipment (mostly for Casey). Jake has never been a big fan of stuffed animals, but ever since he was a baby he's always had this small Teddy Bear that would sit on the rail of his bed at night. If Teddy was nearby Jake felt comforted.
Jake and I both slept great for a total of 7 hours and woke up with only 3 hours until we landed. We both watched another movie and had a light breakfast. When the plane landed we packed up our backpacks and double checked our seats for any belongings. We looked under our seats, our cubby holes, and seat pockets to make sure we didn't leave anything behind. We proceeded to get off the plane in Shanghai airport and walked for 15 minutes to get to Customs. Right when we got to Custom it hit me like a train wreck....... we don't have Teddy in Jake's backpack. But how did we miss him when we checked our seats? Then I realized Teddy must have fallen way behind Jake's seat when it was fully reclined and when we put the seat back upright he was hidden and we had no idea he was back there. I felt so terrible and knew that in a foreign country where I don't speak the language we weren't going to get Teddy back. My eyes welled with tears and I was trying to hold it together. I was so sad that this happened and was disappointed that I didn't pay more attention. Teddy was a comfort piece for Jake and he's gone and we just landed in our new country. I got the courage to explain it all to him and surprisingly he was OK with it. I however was still overwhelmed with sadness and guilt. We talked about all the fun travel Teddy will get to do on that plane and all the neat places he'l go.
I promised Jake that when we get to Chongqing we'll buy him a new Teddy. On the 4th day after we arrived Jake started asking about getting a new Teddy. We found a small little shop inside the Novo Mall that was across the street from our hotel. There wasn't a huge selection to choose from, but Jake selected a very warm and snuggly Teddy Bear. The bear reminded us of a "special" bear that Jake and Casey's cousin Gavin holds very dearly. As we welcome our newest bear in our new home, we often think about where the original Teddy is flying off to.