Wednesday, July 26, 2006


To most people, Ellis is an adorabley cute, light blue, and purple stuffed elephant - on his best day. On a normal day, most would consider him to be a well-used, dirty, floppy, weird looking elephant. But, in this house, he's part of our family.

Now, let me give you a little background on Ellie, and you'll come to realize just how special a blue and purple stuffed elephant can be.

I found him shortly after Bob was born. I had been scouring my town looking for the perfect baby book for Bob. Well, my journey led me to my local mall (Rolling Acres) and after an extremely stressful day full of shopping, and annoying people, I ventured into Carlton Cards, my last stop of the day. In the front of the store they had this huge display of stuffed animals that were on sale. A stuffed sheep caught my eye because of my sister's collection and I decided to grab one as part of her Christmas gift that year. Well, because of the sale, in order to get the deal, I had to get one more animal. So, I decided on an elephant who happened to be named Peanut.

I left the mall soon after that purchase, without a baby book, but with something so much more precious in my little boy's life for years to come. Never in a million years would I have dreamed that I would go on to remember (what seemed like) such an ordinary day, for the rest of my life.

Ellie (Bob didn't like the name Peanut) instantly became Bob's favorite. He wouldn't leave home without him. Ellie had to be everywhere with him. He slept with him every night, and went with us everywhere during the day. He became one of the few constants Bob has had throughout his crazy life.

I remember sitting up nights searching the house for this little guy, as MY little guy sat up crying in his bed because no one had seen Ellie in the last few hours. Only to find him stuffed in some toy box, or soaking wet in the washer because Bob had gotten spaghetti all over him during dinner.

When Bob would sleep with him at night he'd stuff his little finger in Ellie's tag, so Ellie couldn't slip off the bed during the night. There were many times I'd have to sneak in there, after Bob was asleep, and un-tangle his poor suffocated finger from the grips of Ellie's tag. The two of them were inseparable.

Then the unthinkable happened. . . We were living in Houston at the time and I think Bob was about four years old. After a huge day of shopping down at the Galleria, with Ellie in tow, we lost him. Of course, no one noticed until that night at bedtime when my little Bob was crying for him and we couldn't find him anywhere. After calling every single store we had been in that day, Tim and I had to think of something to tell my poor devastated boy, if we wanted any chance in sleeping that night. So, we told him that Ellie had left for a couple days to go fix himself up (the poor little elephant was looking a little ratty by this point - - although I have to say, in general that thing cleaned up pretty darn well) but that he would be back. What Bob didn't know, is at the time, Tim and I didn't think it was possible. We just hoped that he'd soon forget about Ellie and move on with his life.

After calming Bob down that night, I got on the computer and searched e-bay for another Ty pillow pal named Peanut. Low and behold, after an extensive search, I found what I was after. And let me tell you, nothing was going to stand in my way of getting that darn elephant. I was as heart-broken over the whole thing as Bob was, and I wanted that part of our family BACK! So, after a week of waiting and an incredibly high bid, the replacement Ellie was on his way.

While we waited out the almost two weeks it was before Ellie was back to us, Bob never forgot about him. Every night he'd ask us if we thought Ellie was okay, and if we thought Ellie missed him, because Bob sure missed Ellie. Needless to say, Tim and I were sitting on pins and needles until the day of Ellie's big return finally arrived.

When the package came, we called Bob out from his room and let him open the box. The look on his face when he saw his most prized possession all clean and new was something I'll never forget. He was whole again. We had to lay down some ground rules though. No longer was Ellie allowed out of the house, unless we were going somewhere overnight. Luckily Bob was okay with these rules. Either that or he was just so overjoyed with having his best friend back that he didn't care what we said. That night, I think Bob slept better than he ever has.

Fast forward almost four years later. . .

My sweet little boy is in his room right now asleep with Ellie tucked safely under his arm. He still doesn't know the whole story about the replacement Ellie, and I'm not sure if I'll ever tell him. To him, he has the only stuffed animal in the world who would go and make himself all nice and new looking again, just for him.

There's something to be said for the almost magic relationship they have. The love between a boy and his stuffed elephant.

I don't think I want to be the one to ruin that.