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LilCosmo's avatar

Would you give her the bear? (Details inside.)

Asked by LilCosmo (1799 points ) December 16th, 2013

I am finishing up a stint working in a class of students with moderate to severe mental disabilities. For a lesson I taught this class I brought in a stuffed teddy bear from my house. One of the girls in the class loved this bear. She hugged him through the entire lesson, asked me if I could leave him at school, and has had him with her all day every day since I brought that bear to school. This bear is fairly average at first sight, but it is very special to me because my son sewed it in his home economics class last year. I have talked to my son about this girl and how much she loves Teddy (she named him). He says that he would be happy to have the bear go to someone who loves it so much. I am torn about giving up something that my son sewed – especially since it is more than likely the only one he will ever make. I want to give her the bear, but I am struggling to part with it. What would you do?

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21 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

How old is your son?

janbb's avatar

If your son wants her to have it, I think it would be a wonderful reinforcement of his kindness to go along with it. What kind of lesson would you be teaching him by saying it is more important for you to have it than to support his generosity? Having said that, I understand how important to the parent these childhood artifacts are and I sympathize with your conflict but I still say: Give her the bear.

And by the way, this hits home for me a bit because I just brought my older son’s teddy bear to him in France for his new baby. It was hard for me to give it up and I’m not even sure that gift was welcomed.

gailcalled's avatar

His response is wonderful, sweet and loving. Yours is that of all of us mush-hearted parents…take some photos, steel your heart and let the bear do what it is meant ot do. Provide even more love than it has already.

I still weep over similar items, stored in moldy boxes and collecting dust mites…they are doing no one any good where they are, aging and disintegrating.

It may be that the young woman will eventually tire of the bear and return him, but I wouldn’t count on it.

Any 14 year old male who sewed a bear in home ec class is to be treasured. How lucky you are.

Share the bear.

CWOTUS's avatar

I would give it to her if you can do it. It will aid your own spiritual growth to develop detachment, especially to “things”. It’s something that I need to do, myself, and something that I can do only rarely, but it makes me feel much better when I do. I feel better about the thing given away, and the way I feel about myself.

I love the advice you got from @gailcalled, and the way she wrote it.

gailcalled's avatar

We kept a 3’ tall Yogi Bear that had been my daughter’s for years. Its nose was duct-taped from overhandling,and eventually all the stuffing oozed out everywhere. My daughter didn’t care but I had to pry my fingers off Yogi in order to put him in the trash.

Pachy's avatar

I couldn’t say it any better than @janbb. Think how much joy the bear will bring to the girl and what great teaching moment this is for your son.

Perhaps you could salve your conscience by taking your son on a special outing of some sort.

talljasperman's avatar

Have her hold it for you, when she die’s or gets better, you can take it back. ask for it back.

hug_of_war's avatar

I would make sure this is kosher first – would the parents be okay with it? It could seem weird and inappropriate to them. I work with severely disabled kids, and the parents are all different and not all of mine would be okay with this.

Judi's avatar

If you keep the bear, every time you look at it you will think of the girl and wish you had given it to her.

hearkat's avatar

Take photos of the bear, and photos of the girl hugging the bear – keep them as your mementos.

augustlan's avatar

Given your son’s response, I’m in agreement with the wise advice you’ve gotten here. As much as it would pain me to let go of it, I’d give it to the girl.

Cupcake's avatar

Can you order a sew-your-own teddy bear kit like the one your son sewed for you? Perhaps he would be willing to sew another bear and give it to her as a gift.

If you do give yours away, take a picture of it with her and your son beforehand.

LilCosmo's avatar

I told her today she can keep the bear. She was very sweet and very surprised. She told me that she is going to take Teddy home and introduce him to her dolls and her turtles. She also assured me that she takes very good care of her things. She knows tomorrow is my last day so while she was getting on the bus with Teddy, she handed him to me and said “you take him and say goodbye, I will take him tomorrow.”

gailcalled's avatar

Lovely. What is your son’s response? How old is this young woman?

LilCosmo's avatar

The boy smiled when I told him the story. The young lady is 16 but because of her disability she functions at a lower level.

longgone's avatar

This is such a nice story. You did the right thing, @LilCosmo, and your son seems sweet.

gailcalled's avatar

@LilCosmo: Are there other, younger children still at home? This story will become, I hope, part of the LilCosmo family iconographic history.

LilCosmo's avatar

I do have two younger kid who have followed the story of Teddy.

augustlan's avatar


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