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  • You could see her smile from a mile away. As I pulled the minivan through the carpool line, I could tell today was a different kind of day for her. Wrapped between both arms, with her cheek pressed into the soft, brown fur, she stood holding a teddy bear and on her back, an over-sized, overstuffed back-pack. Throwing her back pack on the floor board, she plopped into the front seat. I was curious as to where my 13-going-on-31 year-old daughter had scored a teddy bear during the course of her day.
    "Well...", I said.
    "Well...", she said.
    I let the silence stand for her to fill in the blanks until finally she offered up more information.
    "He gave me this bear today...smell it, Mom, it smells like him.", my daughter said.
    I inhaled the scent of bottled male teenage hormones and sighed deeply. Obviously before giving the lovely gift, this budding Romeo had imparted his signature scent to the bear.
    "Well, this is getting serious, huh?" was about all I could say.
    What I wanted to do was cry because all I could think about was her worn out Lucy Bear. The previous weekend, I had bought big plastic tubs to begin organizing and putting away keepsakes belonging to my children that I had collected over the years. Art work, school work, special outfits my kids have worn, and their "lovies", as I call them, all went into these boxes. My daughter's Lucy Bear, her "lovey" she had slept and played pretend with was one of the bits of my daughter's childhood I placed in the clear plastic bin. She had simply said I could keep him if I wanted to, but she didn't need Lucy Bear anymore. I gave the bear one last hug, put him in the box, and closed the lid, putting away a thing of childhood.
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