I collect stuffed animals. Always have. Mostly they are just for display (I rotate them so that they do not overwhelm our surroundings). They tend to be "unique" - who else has a stuffed meerkat on their night stand and a stuffed hedgehog on their book case?
As I have aged and hot flashes and insomnia have become a way of life, snuggling all night with The Bearded One has become a thing of the past and sleeping with "stuffeds" has been revisited - they are comforting and produce no body heat.
Last night one of my "specials" was missing. Snuffles was not on the bed. A hunt ensued. One that was joined by The Bearded One who seemed just as concerned as I was that the precious Snuffles was missing.
Snuffles was the one stuffed animal that Stubble was never going to get his hands on. He was the "forbidden" stuffed in a sea of, "Mommy can I sleep with X tonight?" Then came the chicken pox and at age 3 Stubble said, "Mommy, I think I could remember not to scratch if I could just hold Snuffles." I was a goner. And so was Snuffles.
Many years later, Snuffles came back to me with matted fur that was permanently discolored and a nose rubbed clean of velvet. Snuffles now lives in a place of honor on MY bed.
The missing member of the family was finally found wrapped in the changed out sheets on top of the dryer.
Ahhhhhhhhh! All is well!