Our dear friends, the Williams' Family, are moving to Tennessee. It was a hard reality to swallow. When you know someone for 10 years and you have raised your children together, it's truly hard to imagine a day when you couldn't just drive over to their home, see them at church, or be a part of their lives on a weekly basis. Our time left with them is crazy limited. Their departure is happening SO fast and everyone is grasping for every moment left to spend with them. Not to mention, they have a house to sell, a house to pack up, a house to find, and so many loose ends to tie up. Lilah has broke down twice already. She has been writing Ansley a goodbye song. She has notes written on her white board, in her room, that state, "I do not want Ansley to move. She is my best friend!" It's pretty sad, but thankfully children are so resilient and slightly "out of sight out of mind", so I am hoping she will bounce back fairly quickly. I am also praising God they aren't moving to Texas or California, but rather to Tennessee, a 3 hour car ride away. Lilah expressed a desire to find some sort of friendship bear for them to have, to remember them by. I suggested Build-A-Bear. I didn't know exactly what this would look like, but I am beyond satisfied with the way it all unfolded.
As shown above, we all know that FIRST, you pick which stuffed animal you wish to "build". Lilah and Ansley agreed to build the SAME bear. So, so sweet. They chose a brown, candy scented bear. It smells just like Strawberry Shortcake does. They shopped around a little bit, just discussing what outfits they liked.
But then, as we waiting in line to stuff the bears, I spotted the section where you can pick a voice to be inserted into the bears. I came across a "record your own voice" insert. I didn't want to control this moment, but I offered up a suggestion that I felt they would be SO thankful for. "Hey girls, this is just a suggestion, but how sweet would it be to record a special message to each other and insert that message into each other's bears? This way, you can always hear each other's voices when you are missing one another!" They snagged that idea almost immediately.
We went in the back of the store. They were trying to come up with something special to say AND again, I tried to make it less stressful for them by offering up ANOTHER suggestion. One of our family favorite books is "Love You Forever". There is a reoccurring theme in the book where the mommy sings to her child, during each phase of his life,
I suggested this song and just changed the "my baby you'll be" to "my best friend you'll be". Again, they snagged the idea almost immediately. I am glad I could assist them."I'll love you forever. I like you for always. As long as I am living my baby you'll be."
See their sweet recordings below!
They stuffed their bears and got ready for the "heart ceremony".
I captured this sweet moment of expresses genuine emotions and feelings as we stood in line.
They each chose to name their bears after one another. Lilah named her bear "Ansley" and Ans named her bear "Liley Bo".
They bathed their bears.
It's amazing how a child can find comfort in a stuffed animal. Whatever works!
While standing line, Lilah and Ansley over heard these two telling someone that they had JUST gotten married. When Lilah and Ansley were finalizing their outfit selections, they spotted a wedding dress and tuxedo. They came to me and said, "that couple should buy these for their bears!" So, I said, "Go tell them!" They did. The couple was flattered, but still undecided. They wanted to check out the store. AND THEN... as we were leaving the store, they came up to us and said, "We decided to go with your suggestion girls!" I thought it was so cute.
The girls chose donut pjs and blue slippers. "Donut you know that I will miss you?" They also purchased an adorable outfit (gold heart on a pink shirt, frilly skirt, and sparkling gold flat shoes).
Such a sweet experience. These bears will be a helpful transition as they say
"good-bye" "See you soon!"