Maymay has had her teddy bear, Berry, for many years. I used to fight with her about leaving it in the car or hiding Berry when we would go anywhere. During one pivotal therapy session, Maymay admitted how much her Berry helps her stay calm in public. Her therapist and neurologist agreed that it is much better to have her carry her Berry than to continue being so overly stressed that she hurts herself or has a seizure. Besides, who does it bother anyway?
I'm used to odd looks and hearing comments about Berry. I hate how sad it makes my kiddo, but I can't protect her from everything. After hearing a few comments yesterday, I told Maymay it might be time to leave Berry at home or in the car. That didn't go over well. Nope, not at all. (Insert extreme meltdown here.) I finally got her to talk with me about it, and the level of my stupidity really became crystal clear.
Me: Maymay, why are you so angry and upset?
Maymay: You told me to leave Berry at home. That makes me sad.
Me: I just thought it might be time.
Maymay: I'm not. Berry makes me feel safe when people upset me.
Me: sigh...I'm sorry. I just thought it might be time.
Maymay: Don't you like me?
Me: What? Of course I like you. I love you hon. Why would you ask that?
Maymay: Because I feel like you want me to be like everyone else instead of who I am. I thought you said you like ME. Do you want me to be more like other people instead of me?
Me: No. I'm so sorry. I do want you to be yourself. I don't want you to be anything except who YOU are. I was wrong to make you feel like you need to be anyone except yourself.
Maymay: Are you sad because people make fun of me?
Me: Yes. It does bother me.
Maymay: I'm sorry. I can try harder to be different.
I stopped her and we had a really long talk about everything. I made sure she understands how much she is loved and how much I admire her. I don't want her to be anyone except herself. I asked forgiveness for being a doodie-head and promised to be nicer to Berry. I realized how much I let other people's ignorance affect me and I didn't handle it well at all. After really thinking about it, if something as simple as a teddy bear can help my kiddo cope with everything that stresses her out, why shouldn't she be allowed to have it?
Besides, who does it bother anyway?
No one that matters.