Tonight as I was putting the kids to bed, Sawyer showed me all of the stuffed toys that he sleeps with. He wanted to show me which were his favorites, in order of most loved to least favorite. One of the toys was his stuffed Woody from Toy Story. We bought him when Sawyer was three and was just beginning to fall in love with the Toy Story characters. He started sleeping with Woody every single night. Then he started taking Woody with him when he had to go to the doctor or when he was facing a scary situation. For two years he has tearfully cried, “I want Woody!” when he was sad or upset. But, for the past couple of months, newer toys have held the coveted spot next to Sawyer at bedtime. I have to admit it broke my heart a little when he took me through the entire tour of playthings until he finally came to the last one: Woody.
He had placed Woody at the end of his list. His least favorite. His old news. His un-loved lovey.
Even Adelade was shocked. She said, “Sawyer, I know which one is your favorite. It’s Woody. Deep down, he is your favorite.”
He insisted that it isn’t so, and snuggled up to Green Lantern and a blue bunny named Funny. Woody was shoved to the edge of the mattress, in danger of falling off into the abyss of things-kids-outgrow. I paused to silently take note of the sad sight. Then I kissed the kids goodnight and left the room.
I heard them talking the way they often do at night. They were discussing the day’s events, talking kid-level philosophy and religion. I love those sounds, even when I know they should be sleeping.
After awhile Sawyer called me. I went to investigate and to tell the kids it was time to be quiet. And, what do I see but Sawyer hugging tight none other than good old Woody. I arranged his blanket and gave him one last kiss. He looked up at me in the semi-darkness of a kids’ room at night, and he said, “Mama, Woody’s my favorite.”
And I thanked God for one little assurance that my baby boy isn’t growing up too quickly. I know Woody will soon be replaced by whatever Sawyer deems more acceptable for a boy of his advanced age and experience. In other words, big boy stuff. But, for now, for tonight, Woody is still king, and Sawyer is still mine, and all of the grown-up-ness that will draw him away from me can wait for another day.